US beef gains new market access in Morocco

United States Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer and US Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, have announced that the government of Morocco has agreed to allow imports of US beef and beef products into Morocco.

According to a press statement from the United States Department of Agriculture, 2018 is the first year that US—beef and poultry exporters have access to Morocco’s market under the terms of the US-Morocco Free Trade Agreement (FTA).  Morocco opened its market to US poultry in August, 2018.

“President Trump continues to prioritize the opening of new markets for US agricultural products.  New access to the Moroccan market for beef and beef products is an important step in ensuring that American farmers and ranchers can continue to expand their exports of US agricultural products,” said Ambassador Lighthizer.

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“I welcome Morocco’s agreement to allow imports of US—beef and look forward to growing our shipments to Morocco.

“Finding new markets for American agricultural products has been a priority for the Trump Administration from day one, and the opening of the Moroccan market is good news for our producers,” said Secretary Perdue.  “American beef is the best in the world, and once Moroccans get a taste of it, they’ll surely want more.”

In 2017, the United States was the world’s third largest beef exporter, with global sales of beef and beef products valued at $7.3 billion.  As of November 2018, US exports of agricultural products to Morocco exceeded $512 million.  Initial estimates indicate that Morocco would be an $80 million market for US—beef and beef products.  Morocco had prohibited imports of US—beef.

Under the leadership of USTR Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Ambassador Gregg Doud and the direction of US Department of Agriculture’s Ken Isley, US and Moroccan officials met to negotiate a health certificate and the terms for the import of US high quality and standard quality beef into Morocco.

Representatives also discussed improvements to the administration of Morocco’s wheat tariff-rate quota and other agriculture and SPS issues, and will continue this work through the agriculture and SPS subcommittees under the FTA.

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