U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced today that the government of Morocco has agreed to allow commercial imports of U.S. poultry meat and products into Morocco for the first time.
“The Trump Administration continues to prioritize the opening of new markets for U.S. 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,” said Ambassador Lighthizer. “I welcome Morocco’s agreement to allow imports of U.S. poultry meat and products and the economic opportunities that will be afforded to U.S. producers.”
“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 U.S. poultry, they're going to want more of it,” said Secretary 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 United States is the world’s second largest poultry exporter, with global sales of poultry meat and products of $4.3 billion last year. In May 2018, U.S. exports of agricultural products exceeded $12 billion (latest data available). Initial estimates indicate that Morocco would be a $10 million market, with additional growth over time. Morocco had prohibited imports of U.S. poultry. Officials from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of Agriculture worked with the Moroccan government to provide assurances on the safety of U.S. poultry.
The USA Poultry & Egg Council (USAPEEC) and the National Chicken Council (NCC) applaud the news, bringing to fruition a 14-year-long effort to gain entry to the market.
“We’re very pleased after 14 years, since a Free Trade Agreement was signed between our countries, for poultry to finally to have access,” USAPEEC President Jim Sumner said. Sumner noted that while the initial quota for imports is limited, “The good news is that by 2024 for turkey, and by 2030 for chicken, we will have full access.”
NCC President Mike Brown praised the action, saying, “This is welcome news and I commend the Administration for its continued efforts to open markets for U.S. chicken around the world. Producers are very excited about this new market opportunity.”
More details on requirements for exporting to Morocco are available from the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service Export Library at: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/exporting-products/export-library-requirements-by-country/Morocco.
Source: USDA, NCC