21 November 2013
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Moroccan Minister of Economy and Finance Mohamed Boussaid signed the trade facilitation agreement, which “represents a forward-leaning, 21st-century agreement on modernizing customs practices,” according to a news release the same day from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).
“Morocco has a strong commitment to continuing its efforts to build a modern economy for the 21st century” Froman said. “This agreement will make doing business both easier and more transparent for both American and Moroccan companies.”
The agreement, which builds on the United States-Morocco Free Trade Agreement, includes provisions covering Internet publication, transit, transparency with respect to penalties and other issues that will further boost Morocco’s competitiveness and benefit its trade environment.
Morocco is the first country in the region to conclude a bilateral trade facilitation agreement, as well as to endorse joint principles on investment and information communication technology services trade with the United States. “These important initiatives reflect our common commitment to building stronger economic ties with and among the region,” the USTR news release said.
SUPPORTING JOB CREATION
Froman and Moroccan Minister of Industry, Trade, Investment and the Digital Economy Moulay Hafid Elalamy also pledged November 21 to advance future work under a bilateral action plan aimed at supporting job creation by increasing trade and investment opportunities.
The U.S.-Moroccan economic relationship has grown significantly since the two countries’ bilateral free-trade agreement entered into force in 2006. Overall trade between the United States and Morocco has increased more than 300 percent, the USTR said, with U.S. exports up more than 350 percent and Moroccan exports to the United States more than doubling.
U.S. foreign direct investment in Morocco has quadrupled over the same period, amounting to $613 million in stock investment in 2012.