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United States and Morocco Meet in FTA Joint Committee
Rabat, Morocco – Delegations from the United States and Morocco met in Rabat on July 16, 2019 in the sixth meeting of the Joint Committee that oversees implementation of the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which came into force in 2006.
During the meeting, U.S. and Moroccan officials reviewed a wide range of issues currently or potentially hindering the expansion of bilateral trade and investment. The United States updated Morocco on the Trump Administration’s trade policy. Morocco promoted its potential as a regional hub, particularly with respect to trade with Sub-Saharan Africa, and its interest in attracting more U.S. business partners.
The delegations highlighted work in the Agriculture and Sanitary and Phytosanitary FTA Sub-committees since the fifth meeting of the Joint Committee in October 2017. These efforts notably have resulted in the confirmation of new access to the Moroccan market for U.S. poultry and beef. Officials also discussed how to make progress in several other areas, including customs, intellectual property protection and enforcement, the environment, and labor. The two sides reaffirmed the importance of working together to strengthen the trade relationship and agreed to continued exchanges in several areas, including Morocco’s protection of geographical indications and Moroccan tax treatment of certain products imported from the United States.
The U.S. delegation was led by Assistant United States Trade Representative for Europe and the Middle East Dan Mullaney and included representatives from USTR, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of State.
The Moroccan delegation was led by Minister of Industry, Investment, Trade and Digital Economy Moulay Hafid Elalamy and included representatives from the Ministries of: Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Water, and Forests; Labor and Vocational Training; Economy and Finance (including the Customs and Excise Administration); Energy, Mines, and Sustainable Development; and Health. Additional organizations represented included: the National Agency for the Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises; the Investments and Exports Development Agency; the Office of Industrial and Commercial Property; and the Exchange Office.
The U.S. goods trade surplus with Morocco was $1.4 billion in 2018, a 39.8 percent increase ($393 million) over 2017. U.S. goods exports to Morocco were $2.9 billion, up 32.7 percent ($725 million) from the previous year. Morocco was the United States’ 54th largest goods export market in 2018. U.S. imports from Morocco in 2018 were $1.6 billion, up 27.0 percent. U.S. exports of services to Morocco were an estimated $634 million in 2017 (latest data available) and U.S. imports were $832 million.