More information about Oman is available on the Oman Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The United States and Oman concluded a treaty of friendship and navigation in 1833. It was replaced in 1958 by the Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights. Diplomatic relations were established in 1972. Since 1980 Oman and the United States have been parties to a military cooperation agreement, which was revised and renewed in 2010.
Oman plays an important role in helping the United States realize its regional stability goals. Oman is strategically located on a key naval chokepoint through which passes 40% of the world’s exported oil shipments. The Government of Oman relies heavily on foreign assistance capacity-building that allows it to keep this critical sea-lane open to naval vessels and commercial traffic.
Oman also faces its own security challenges, which include combating piracy, weapons smuggling, narcotics trafficking, and monitoring and controlling Oman’s borders. The Omani security establishment has had to deploy assets to address increased insecurity along Oman’s land and sea border with Yemen, due to instability in Yemen and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula activities. This has created critical gaps in other areas. Internally, Oman faced some protests in 2011 resulting in moderate political and economic reforms, including the creation of fifty thousand additional public sector jobs.
U.S. Assistance to Oman
U.S. assistance helps fund anti-piracy efforts and strengthens Oman’s capability to monitor and control its borders, and improves interoperability of the Omani military with U.S. forces. Under the Memorandum of Understanding on Environmental Cooperation, signed in 2006 alongside the free trade agreement, the Department of State’s trade-related environmental cooperation programs focus on protecting the environment while promoting sustainable development. Military cooperation, financial assistance, and direct military sales help to address a number of Oman’s security challenges. FY2014 military aid in the form of International Military Education and Training (IMET) and Foreign Military Financing (FMF) from the United States to Oman is approximately $11 million, in line with figures from the past several years.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The United States and Oman have a free trade agreement which has been in force since 2009. In 2013, Oman exports to the U.S. totaled $1 billion while U.S. exports to Oman accounted for more than $1.5 billion, a 11.7% decrease from 2012. U.S. exports to Oman include machinery, vehicles, aircraft, agricultural products, and optic and medical instruments. U.S. imports from Oman include crude oil, jewelry, plastics, fertilizers, and iron and steel products.
U.S. firms face a small and highly competitive market dominated by trade with Japan , China and re-exports from the United Arab Emirates. The sale of U.S. products also is hampered by higher transportation costs and the lack of familiarity with Oman on the part of U.S. exporters. However, the traditional U.S. market in Oman, oil field supplies and services, should grow as fields and wells expand.
Membership in International Organizations
Oman and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Although a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Arab League, and the Gulf Cooperation Council, Oman is not a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Oman maintains an embassy in the United States at 2535 Belmont Rd. NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-387-1980).
More information about Oman is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
Department of State Oman Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Oman Page
U.S. Embassy: Oman
History of U.S. Relations With Oman
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information