July 20,2004

Committee Passes Morocco Free Trade Agreement Implementing Bill


To: Reporters and Editors
Re: Committee approval of the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
Da: Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, today made the following comment on the vote of the Finance Committee to report out S. 2677, the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, on a vote of 21 ayes, 0 nays.

“Today’s committee vote is a clear stamp of approval for the agreement. The committee’s members recognize that this is a good agreement that will benefit the United States.

“Some 95 percent of consumer and industrial products will become duty-free immediatelyupon implementation of the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement. This is the best market access the United States have ever obtained on consumer and manufacturing products in a trade agreement witha developing country. The U.S. service sector will gain from the agreement as well, as it containsbroad market access commitments in key sectors such as audiovisual, telecommunications, andengineering.

“And this is a very good agreement for U.S. agriculture. According to an independentanalysis conducted by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the U.S. agricultural trade surplus withMorocco could grow to $382 million by 2015 on account of the Agreement. At the same time, thereport stated that Morocco is expected to increase its agricultural trade by about $25 million.Therefore, under the agreement, U.S. agriculture could see over a ten-to-one gain. So the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement is good news for Iowa’s corn, soybean, and cattle and beefproducers.

“I’ll continue to work to advance the implementation legislation for this agreement in theSenate. I’m hopeful that the Senate will approve the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade AgreementImplementation Act by the end of the week.”