Free trade negotiations between Morocco and the United States broke down this week over disagreements on access to US wheat, beef and poultry. Both sides hoped to finalize a free trade agreement (FTA) by the year’s end.
US and Moroccan negotiators ended their latest round of free trade talks Monday, December 8, 2003, without reaching an agreement, a spokesman fro the Office of the US Trade Representative told DTN. The negotiators are scheduled to meet again in January 2004. "We are in the final lap," said the spokesman.
The United States seeks to liberalize trade with Morocco through multilateral, regional and bilateral initiatives. Announced by US President Bush and King Mohamed VI in 2002, the negotiations for a US-Morocco FTA are a central element of this strategy.
Negotiations commenced in January 2003 in Washington, DC. Three subsequent rounds has yielded significant progress toward a comprehensive agreement that will cover non-agricultural and agricultural goods and government procurement, liberalize services and strengthen investment, intellectual property rights, labor and environmental protections. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )