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Trade Policy and Export Performance in Morocco

By Peter Walkenhorst and Mariem Malouche

Abstract

Morocco’s trade policy is at a cross-roads. Historically, the country has had a very restrictive import regime that generated substantial transfers to domestic producers. In terms of the simple average of most-favored nation tariffs, Morocco is one of the ten most highly protected markets in the world. Yet, with the signing of the Euro-Med Agreement with the European Union and its implementation since 2000, a decision for the gradual opening of the domestic market through preferential trade liberalization was taken. This choice was subsequently reaffirmed through the conclusion of further free trade agreements with the United States and Turkey. The resulting shift in trade policy paradigms promises to create new opportunities for export-led economic growth and employment generation, while requiring adjustment of domestic producers to the new, more competitive economic environment and additional policy reforms to complement the market opening strategy.Trade, tariffs, services, logistics, export diversification, regional integration, world markets

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