Baucus Statement at the Markup of the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement Implementing Bill
Statement of U.S. Senator Max Baucus
Markup of the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement Implementing Bill
We’re here today formally to report legislation to implement the U.S. Morocco Free Trade
Agreement. We began this process last week, when we had a walk-through and informal markup of
Before then, Senator Grassley and I worked hard to address committee members’ concerns
with this legislation. And I believe that we were successful. I thank my good friend the Chairman
for his leadership. And I thank the other members of the committee for their willingness to work
cooperatively to get this legislation done in a timely manner.
Many hope the Senate will pass the Morocco implementing legislation before the end of the
week. I count myself among them.
The agreement with Morocco is a good one. In some ways, it sets a new standard for U.S.
trade agreements with developing countries.
For instance, Morocco has agreed to a high level of protection for intellectual property rights.
The agreement includes state-of-the-art protections for digital copyrights and trademarks, expands
protection for patents, and contains tough penalties for piracy and counterfeiting.
I fought to ensure that U.S. wheat exporters would not be left out of the agreement. Wheat is
important for many U.S. states, including my home state of Montana.
The agreement creates new tariff rate quotas for wheat that could lead to a 5-fold increase in
U.S. exports to Morocco. It will allow U.S. wheat producers to compete in Morocco on a level
playing field with European competitors.
The agreement also gives U.S. beef producers new access to Morocco for their high-quality
The free trade agreement negotiations have spurred Morocco to engage in significant
domestic reforms. For example, Morocco recently enacted a new labor law and a new law on child
labor, both of which were drafted with the help of the International Labor Organization.
By voting to approve the Morocco implementing legislation, we can support reformers in
Morocco. We can also confirm our close ties with Morocco, the first country to recognize the
United States after the American Revolution, and therefore one of our oldest friends in the world.
I urge my Colleagues to support this legislation.
# # #
Next Article Previous Article