WASHINGTON – The government of Morocco will allow imports of US poultry products for the first time according to an announcement Aug. 7 by US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
Initial estimates by the US government said that Morocco would be a $10 million market, with additional growth over time. Morocco entered into a free trade agreement with the US in June of 2004, and it went into effect in 2006. However, poultry was still prohibited until now.
“Opening new markets for American poultry and other agricultural products is a top priority. I am convinced that when the Moroccan people get a taste of US poultry, they're going to want more of it,” Secretary Perdue said. “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 USA Poultry & Egg Council (USAPEEC) and the National Chicken Council (NCC) approved of the move to open up a new avenue to sell their good.
“We’re very pleased after 14 years, since a Free Trade Agreement was signed between our countries, for poultry to finally have access,” USAPEEC President Jim Sumner said.
Sumner also stated that the initial access is limited, but by 2024 there will be full access for turkey and by 2030 for chicken.
The trade associations also said there will be a duty-free quota of 6,400 metric tons for chicken parts. The quota will increase by 200 metric tons each year until it becomes unlimited.
“What’s really great about this agreement is that the US is the only country with duty free access for chicken,” Sumner said. “Morocco, being mostly a live bird market, does very little of its own chicken processing. The US will have the opportunity to introduce many further processed chicken and even turkey products to the Moroccan market.”