Oman plays an important role in helping the United States realize its wide-ranging stability goals for the region. Oman is strategically located on a key naval chokepoint through which 30% of the world’s maritime oil shipments pass. Oman’s longstanding partnership with the United States is critical to our mutual national security objectives, including countering terrorism, increasing economic diversification and development opportunities, and promoting regional stability. Demonstrating commitment to our security cooperation remains important in the context of Omani concerns about regional destabilization — including Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and ISIS threats — and the ongoing conflict in Yemen.
U.S. Assistance to Oman
U.S. assistance contributes to efforts to counter piracy, narcotics, and wildlife smuggling; enhances law enforcement and investigations techniques; strengthens Oman’s capability to monitor and control its borders; builds counterterrorism capacity; and improves interoperability of the Omani military with U.S. forces. In FY2020, Oman received $2 million in International Military Education and Training (IMET) assistance, and Oman’s IMET budget for FY2021 stands at $1.8 million. FY2020 financing for Anti-terrorism Assistance (ATA) was $900,000.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The U.S. and Oman share Oman’s only bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which has been in force since 2009. There has been a consistent call in Oman for the expanded utilization of the FTA as well as a push to highlight the many benefits the Agreement brings to Omani and American companies, including a no-minimum investment requirement for new businesses in Oman and 100% foreign ownership. U.S. exports to Oman include machinery, vehicles, aircraft, agricultural products, and medical instruments. U.S. imports from Oman include crude oil, textiles, jewelry, plastics, fertilizers, iron, and steel and aluminum products.