This provision is already included in other agreements, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Free Trade Agreement between the Dominican Republic and Central America, and the Free Trade Agreement with Australia, Bahrain, Chile and Morocco. On June 29, 2006, the U.S. Senate passed OFTA by 60-34 votes, the fewest « aye » votes in the Senate on a trade bill other than the CAFTA. On 20 July 2006, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the OFTA by 221 votes in, 205 against and 7 abstentions.  For procedural reasons, the Senate voted on 19 September 2006 by a second vote and the bill was passed by 62 votes to 32 and 6 abstentions.  Overall, the Senate approved Bill 63-37, since all senators voted either « aye » or « nay » in one of the two votes. Supporters say the U.S.-Oman free trade agreement will contribute to bilateral economic growth and bilateral trade, create export opportunities for U.S. businesses, farmers and ranchers, and help create jobs in both countries. Critics argue that the protection of the labour of Omani workers is inadequate and that the free trade agreement will not help create competitive conditions for Omani and American workers.
Critics also argue that a provision in Schedule II of the Free Trade Agreement could force the United States to open the land aspects of its port activities to the operation of businesses doing business in Oman, activities on which Congress expressed national security concerns during the dubai world port debate. After the President submitted the agreement and the terms of application to Congress, the relevant committees had 45 days to review it (or not to examine it) and each chamber still had 15 days to vote on the legislation upwards or at the grassroots level, without changing the agreement itself or the legislation. On June 29, 2006, the Senate passed an enforcement act (p. 3569); Parliament passed it (H.R. 5684) on 20 July; September 2006, it became p.L. 109-283. This report is updated when events warrant it. A provision of the Oman Free Trade Agreement has received increased attention. Some argue that this provision could force the United States to open land aspects of its port activities to companies such as DP World.
Others argue that this provision is not new in bilateral trade agreements and does not change current U.S. policy. While both sides pledged to apply this model in the U.S.-Jordan free trade agreement, the countries exchanged letters just before the debate in Congress and promised to « do everything in their power to resolve [all differences] without resorting to formal dispute resolution procedures. » A fundamental obligation of free trade agreements such as the U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement is not to treat service providers and investors of other parties less favourably than the United States treats its own service providers and investors. This provision meets these requirements. Not all work rules are treated in the same way. The free trade agreement between the United States and Oman establishes three basic labour obligations for partner countries: (1) ILO compliance obligations; (2) obligations to enforce their own labour standards; (3) and the obligation not to abstain from these standards in order to attract trade and investment. However, critics argue that only the second of these three obligations is enforceable by the dispute settlement procedures of the Oman Free Trade Agreement in the United States. This treatment is contrary to the provisions of the FREE Trade Agreement between the United States and Jordan, which make the three commitments enforceable through the dispute settlement procedure.28 Advance notification was made on 17 October 2005, three days after the conclusion of the negotiations.
The agreement was then officially « finalized » or signed on January 19, 2006. Meanwhile, a few days after the Senate Finance Committee hearing, the