Senate Passes Morocco FTA

House expected to vote on the bill yet this week. Compiled by staff

Published on: Jul 21, 2004

Critics said it wouldn't be possible to pass trade agreements by the August recess. But the U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) passed last week and the Morocco has made it out of the Senate with flying colors.

The Senate passed the United States-Morocco Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act on an overwhelmingly bipartisan 85 to 13 vote. The House is expected to vote on the bill this week, clearing the way for the President's signature.

Implementation of the agreement is expected to help advance U.S. agricultural exports to Morocco to unprecedented heights, enabling the U.S. to better compete with the European Union, Canada, and South America in the Moroccan market.

According to analysis conducted by the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), the agreement is expected to result in a 10-to-one gain for the U.S. agriculture sector, which already enjoys a positive trade balance with Morocco. Under the agreement, U.S. agricultural sales to Morocco are expected to reach $382 million by 2015, with approximately $260 million of this surplus related directly to increased sales created by the agreement.

"Under this agreement we expect to see improvements in quite a few commodity sectors," says AFBF President Bob Stallman. "U.S. sales of beef and poultry have been minor to non-existent, but under the agreement they are granted access. The United States should expect to see increased trade in feedstuffs, wheat, beef and poultry markets."

Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, says the "passage of the United States-Morocco Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act will help strengthen our relationship with a long-standing friend and ally of the United States. I'm confident that this agreement will spur growth and opportunity for Morocco and its people."