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Weekly Trade Focus: Morocco

11/02/2009 - 5:35pm

Every week, the USTR website explores a new trade topic with background information and current trade data. On November 3rd United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk will meet with Moroccan Minister of Foreign Trade Abdellatif Maazouz under the auspices of the Joint Committee established under the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement.

Morocco and the United States have a long history of friendship and cooperation. Morocco became the first country to publicly recognize the United States in 1777 and has remained an important ally of the United States in the Middle East. In 1787 Thomas Jefferson and John Adams formalized America's relationship with Morocco in the form of a Treaty of Friendship. The United States and Morocco signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in 2004 in an effort to stimulate commercial ties between the two countries.

Over the past 222 years, bilateral trade benefiting both nations has been a hallmark of America's relationship with Morocco. In 2008, bilateral trade in goods between the United States and Morocco totaled $2.4 billion, which is an increase of 148% since 2005. This increasing volume in trade is due in large part to the FTA, which entered into force in January 2006. While bilateral trade has declined during 2009 due to global economic conditions, the United States is hopeful that the multi-year positive trend will soon return.

The Joint Committee is chaired by the United States Trade Representative and the Moroccan Ministry on Foreign Trade. Its purpose is to oversee the implementation of the FTA and resolve any issues that arise. The Joint Committee has been successful in finding cooperative measures to expand trade and improve the business climate between the United States and Morocco by focusing on concrete problem-solving. Ambassador Kirk looks forward to discussions on a variety of important bilateral trade topics, primarily focusing trade and investment.