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US-Middle East Free Trade Coalition congratulates Moroccan Parliament

US-Middle East Free Trade Coalition
Press Release
January 25, 2005

US-Middle East Free Trade Coalition Congratulates Moroccan
Parliament on Passage of FTA

WASHINGTON, DC - The US-Middle East Free Trade Coalition today congratulated the Moroccan Parliament on its passage of the US-Morocco Free Trade Agreement. Last week’s
ratification by the Upper House of Parliament, followed the earlier passage by the Moroccan
Lower House and is a key step in brining the this agreement into force.

“We congratulate the Moroccan government for acting expeditiously to ratify the
agreement,” said Bill Reinsch, President of the National Foreign Trade Council. “We look
forward to continuing to work with both governments as they move forward with the
implementation of this comprehensive, high standard FTA,” added Reinsch.

“The US-Morocco FTA represents the beginning of a strategic economic partnership with a
key Middle Eastern ally and is an important step towards President Bush’s goal of enacting
Middle East Free Trade Area (MEFTA) by 2013,” said Jeff Donald, Senior Vice President of
the Business Council for International Understanding.

The FTA will advance important reforms in Morocco and create economic opportunities for
workers and businesses in both countries. It will completely eliminate tariffs on 95 percent
of trade in consumer and industrial products and lock in important commitments in the
agriculture sector, increasing market access and improving the competitiveness of U.S.
farmers in the Moroccan market.

The agreement also means increased economic opportunities in the Moroccan service sector.

As an important lynchpin between Europe, Africa and the Middle East, access to this market
is essential for the U.S. banking, insurance and telecommunications industries.

The ratification by both Houses of the Moroccan Parliament was a key step to enacting the
FTA. President Bush signed the agreement into law on August 17, 2004 after it passed both
the U.S. House and Senate by overwhelming bipartisan majorities. Over the next few
months, both governments will ensure that domestic laws and regulations comply with the
terms of the agreement, thereby bringing the FTA into effect.

The National Foreign Trade Council is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based world
economy. Founded in 1914 by a group of American companies that supported an open world trading system, the NFTC
now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.

The Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU), a U.S. business association founded in 1959 at White
House initiative, is dedicated to promoting dialogue and action between the business and government communities for
the purpose of expanding international commerce.

 source: National Foreign Trade Council