UNITED STATES-OMAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT IMPLEMENTATION ACT -- (House of Representatives - July 20, 2006)
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Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Speaker, today the House of Representatives has an opportunity to support the U.S. intellectual property industries by approving the U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement.
The agreement is supported by both the International Intellectual Property Association, which is comprised of seven copyright-based trade associations representing over 1,900 different companies, and the Information Technology Industry Council, representing 35 leading high-tech industries, because it will raise the level of intellectual property protection in Oman in a number of ways.
The agreement implements the WIPO Internet Treaties, which provide standards for digital copyrighted material; it protects copyrighted works for extended terms, including 95 years for sound recordings and performances; and it ensures that copyright owners will have the exclusive right to make their works available online.
The agreement will also strengthen the enforcement of intellectual property rights in Oman by including agreed upon criminal standards for copyright infringement with stronger remedies and penalties and by criminalizing end user piracy. These provisions will provide a strong deterrence against piracy and counterfeiting.
Finally, Oman has committed to zero tariffs on all software, movies, music, consumer products, books and magazines exported into the country and to zero tariffs on technology products used to access the Internet.
I urge my colleagues to support this important sector of the U.S. economy and vote in favor of the Oman Free Trade Agreement.