March 02,2004

Grassley Praises U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement


To: Reporters and Editors
Fr: Jill Gerber, 202/224-6522
Re: U.S.-Morocco trade agreement
Da: Tuesday, March 2, 2004

Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, today welcomed the conclusion of negotiations of the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement (FTA). His statement follows.

“This agreement is good for America’s farmers, manufacturers, and consumers. It will leadto greater access for U.S. products and services in Morocco, a country of 30 million people. Thisagreement can serve as a template for free trade agreements with other countries in the Middle Eastand North Africa.

“Iowa’s farmers will benefit directly from the U.S.-Morocco FTA. U.S. soybean and cornfarmers have made inroads into the Moroccan market in recent years. With Moroccan tariffs onthese commodities going to zero under the FTA, U.S. farmers will be in a significantly betterposition to increase their sales in Morocco.

“U.S. cattle and beef producers will now find it possible to sell beef in the Moroccan market.Due to extremely high tariffs, U.S. beef is currently in effect locked out of the Moroccan market.I anticipate that this will change due to trade liberalization brought about by the U.S.-Morocco FTA,especially in the area of high quality U.S. beef.

“I note as well that the FTA contains a preference clause that states that no other country willbe able to get better trade access into Morocco in the areas of soybeans, corn, and beef than theUnited States.

“The U.S.-Morocco FTA is a good agreement for Iowa agriculture. It is an additional stepforward in reaching President Bush’s goal of concluding a Middle East Free Trade Area by 2013.I commend U.S. Trade Representative Bob Zoellick, Chief Agricultural Negotiator Allen Johnson,and lead U.S. Negotiator Catherine Novelli for a job well-done.”