Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
January 9, 2017
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, and the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1972.
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 exported oil shipments pass. Oman’s longstanding partnership with the United States is critical to our mutual national security objectives, to include countering terrorism, increasing economic diversification and development opportunities, and halting Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. Demonstrating commitment to our security cooperation remains important as Oman becomes increasingly concerned about regional destabilization -- including Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and ISIL threats -- and the ongoing conflict in Yemen.
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 deployed assets to address increased insecurity along Oman’s land and sea border with Yemen. Oman and the United States signed a military cooperation agreement in 1980, which was revised and renewed in 2010.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding on Environmental Cooperation, signed in 2006 alongside the U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the Department of State’s trade-related environmental cooperation programs focus on protecting the environment while promoting sustainable development. In 2016, the United States and Oman signed a Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement, which will provide a platform for increased cooperation in these areas.
U.S. Assistance to Oman
U.S. assistance contributes to counter-piracy and counter narcotics smuggling efforts, enhances law enforcement and investigations techniques, strengthens Oman’s capability to monitor and control its borders, builds capacity on curbing terrorism financing, and improves interoperability of the Omani military with U.S. forces. FY2016 military funding in the form of International Military Education and Training (IMET) and Foreign Military Financing (FMF) from the United States to Oman was approximately $4 million.
Various U.S. agencies deliver customized training, exchanges, and Subject Matter Expert assistance. Primary partners include the Royal Office, Royal Oman Police (ROP), ROP Customs and ROP Coast Guard (CG), and the Royal Army of Oman.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The United States and Oman share Oman’s only bilateral 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, to include 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 products.
U.S. firms in Oman face a small and competitive market dominated by re-exports from the United Arab Emirates and low-cost Chinese goods. Higher transportation costs and the lack of U.S. exporters’ familiarity with Oman, hamper the sale of U.S. products. Nonetheless, traditional sources of U.S. trade in Oman, oil field supplies and services, as well as focus sectors such as logistics, manufacturing, tourism, health and medicine should grow over the next ten years. ‘Tanfeedh,’ the Omani government’s initiative to invigorate Oman’s manufacturing, logistics, and tourism sectors, has identified 121 projects for investment, and U.S. companies will be eligible to participate in a large number of the projects.
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 also has representatives assigned to INTERPOL and is a member of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force.
The U.S. Ambassador to Oman is Marc J. Sievers; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.
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
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