Rabat – The USDA has announced that Morocco will import US poultry, opening up an estimated “$10 million market.”
The US Trade Representative (USTR) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that the Moroccan government 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 Robert Lighthizer, the USTR’s representative.
“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,” he added.
U.S. poultry gains new market access in Morocco. The U.S. is the world’s 2nd largest poultry exporter, with global sales of poultry meat & products of $4.3 billion last year. Full press release: https://t.co/aoCrse6bLt pic.twitter.com/QPerLpgii4
— Dept. of Agriculture (@USDA) August 7, 2018
According to Reuters, the agreement reverses Morocco’s previous ban on US poultry for “food safety concerns,” although the two countries have a free trade agreement.
This new market could alleviate the pressure put on the American farmers as many countries such as China, the EU, Mexico, and Canada have been imposing taxes on US agricultural products. The levy was a response to new US tariffs on steel and aluminum against these countries.
USDA and USTR said their offices worked with Morocco’s government “to provide assurances on the safety of U.S. poultry.”
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said that opening new markets for US poultry and agricultural products is a major priority. “I am convinced that when the Moroccan people get a taste of U.S. poultry, they’re going to want more of it.”
Perdue asserted that the US products which will be exported to Morocco “are safe, wholesome, and very delicious.” He also expressed his optimism over the cooperation, noting that “this kind of relationship can be developed.”
“We hope there are other things we can cooperate on as USDA works to expand markets around the globe.”
In 2016, the Moroccan National Health Security Office of Food (ONSSA) suspended the import of poultry meat and products from France following an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5 avian flu in French poultry.
In 2015, ONSSA also banned the importation of poultry from Germany since its birds were infected with the avian flu virus.