U.S., Morocco wrap up free-trade agreement
The United States and Morocco concluded terms for a free-trade agreement between the countries in Washington Tuesday.
The U.S.-Morocco free-trade agreement is considered an integral part of President Bush’s strategy to create a Middle East Free Trade Area by 2013. The United States has free-trade agreements with Israel, Jordan and has started negotiations for one with Bahrain earlier this year.
“I hope other nations in the Middle East and North Africa will closely study the terms of this agreement, and will view it as a model to advance their economic relationships with the United States,” said U.S. trade representative Robert B. Zoellick in a statement.
The agreement eliminates tariffs and provides preferential access for American businesses interested in engaging Morocco’s $11 billion import market.
According to the USTR, the United States exports about $475 million worth of products to Morocco each year. These exports include planes, corn, and machinery. Recently, U.S. exports of fabrics and pharmaceuticals have increased to Morocco. U.S. products entering Morocco face an average tariff of more than 20 percent, while Moroccan products are subject to an average U.S. tariff of 4 percent.
The U.S.-Morocco free-trade agreement must be approved by Congress.