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. In 2009, the United States and Oman signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which has increased trade in both directions, created opportunities for U.S. and Omani businesses, and supported Oman’s goals of attracting investment and diversifying its economy.
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.
Oman also faces its own security challenges, which include combating piracy, 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. In 2019, Oman and the United States signed the Framework Agreement to formalize and expand U.S. military access to key Omani sea and air ports in Duqm and Salalah.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding on Environmental Cooperation, signed in 2006, and the environmental provisions of the 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 provides a platform for increased partnership in these areas.
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.
Various U.S. agencies deliver customized training, exchanges, and Subject Matter Expert assistance. Primary partners include the Royal Office, Royal Oman Police (ROP), and the Royal Army of Oman.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Since the bilateral FTA came into force in 2009, trade has increased significantly in both directions. Some of the FTA’s most important benefits include duty free treatment of goods and a no-minimum investment requirement for new businesses. 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.
Oman’s market is small and it remains unfamiliar to many U.S. exporters. U.S. firms also face competition from re-exports from the United Arab Emirates and low-cost Chinese goods. Nonetheless, the Omani market presents opportunities for U.S. exporters both in traditional areas, such as oil/gas field supplies and services, and in priority sectors identified in Oman’s economic diversification strategy (including logistics, mining, tourism, manufacturing, and agriculture and fisheries).
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. Oman is a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Arab League, and the Gulf Cooperation Council. It is not a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. 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 Leslie M. Tsou; 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:
CIA World Factbook Oman Page
History of U.S. Relations With Oman
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Country Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Library of Congress Country Studies