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U.S. beef gains new market access in Morocco

• Dec 12, 2018 at 8:00 AM

The government of Morocco reportedly has agreed to allow imports of U.S. beef and beef products into Morocco.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the market access last week.

2018 is the first year that U.S. beef and poultry exporters have access to Morocco’s market under the terms of the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Morocco opened its market to U.S. poultry in August.

“President Trump continues to prioritize the opening of new markets for U.S. agricultural products,” Lighthizer said. “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 U.S. agricultural products. I welcome Morocco’s agreement to allow imports of U.S. 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,” Perdue said. “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, U.S. exports of agricultural products to Morocco exceeded $512 million. Initial estimates indicate that Morocco would be an $80 million market for U.S. beef and beef products. Morocco had prohibited imports of U.S. beef.

Under the leadership of USTR Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Amb. Gregg Doud and the direction of U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Ken Isley, U.S. and Moroccan officials met to negotiate a health certificate and the terms for the import of U.S. 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.

More details on requirements for exporting to Morocco will be available online from the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service Export Library.

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