US poultry market gains access to Morocco for first time
In May 2018, agricultural US exports exceeded $12 billion, with initial approximations suggesting that Morocco alone is currently a $10 million market.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that the government of Morocco has agreed to allow commercial imports of US poultry meat and products into Morocco for the first time.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue made the announcement.
Lighthizer said, “The Trump Administration continues to prioritise the opening of new markets for US agricultural products. This new access to the Moroccan market is an important step in ensuring that American farmers and ranchers can continue to expand their exports. I welcome Morocco’s agreement to allow imports of US poultry meat and products and the economic opportunities that will be afforded to US producers.”
Said Sonny Perdue. “The products that will be imported into Morocco are safe, wholesome, and very delicious. This is also a good harbinger of the kind of relationship that can be developed. We hope there are other things we can cooperate on as USDA works to expand markets around the globe.”
The US is the world’s second largest poultry exporter, global sales of poultry meat and products reached $4.3 billion in 2017. In May 2018, agricultural US exports exceeded $12 billion, with initial approximations suggesting that Morocco alone is currently a $10 million market, with additional growth estimated over time..
Morocco had previously prohibited imports of US poultry, despite entering into a free trade agreement with the US in 2004.
“We’re very pleased after 14 years, since a new trade agreement was signed by our countries, for poultry to finally have access,” said USA Poultry and Egg Council (USAPEEC) President Jim Sumner.
He said while the initial quotation is limited, “by 2024 for turkey, and by 2030 for chicken, we will have full access.”
Despite entering into a free trade agreement in 2004, a health certificate was never negotiated, and so no US poultry entered the Moroccan market. Extensive negotiations led by the US Trade Representative’s Office, included the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).
Morocco issued a health certificate, and stated an initial duty free quota of 6,400 metric tons of chicken parts, with the figure increasing by 200 metric tons each year, before becoming unlimited.