On January 19, 2006 the United States and the Middle Eastern country of Oman signed a free trade agreement. The U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement (OFTA) is part of the Bush administration's strategy to expand NAFTA to the Middle East by creating a Middle East Free Trade Area (MEFTA). OFTA replicates the failed trade model embodied in NAFTA and the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).
As a result of deep concerns about labor abuses and national security, the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives was unable to garner the broad majority in Congress it had hoped for to pass the Oman Free Trade Agreement. After several months of heated debate, the deal passed by a narrow margin July 20th, 2006.