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U.S.-Morocco FTA Coalition Reaffirms Commitment to Trade Pact in Wake of Terrorist Attacks
Date: 5/20/2003

Washington, DC – The U.S.-Morocco FTA Coalition today condemned the recent terrorist attacks in Casablanca and reaffirmed its strong support for bolstering economic ties between U.S. and Morocco through the negotiation of a bilateral free trade agreement.

 

"We extend our deepest sympathies to the Moroccan people for the tragic events in Casablanca, and hope that these events will only increase the resolve to strengthen ties between our two nations," said Bill Reinsch, President of the National Foreign Trade Council.

 


Reinsch noted that Morocco's willingness to lock-in economic reforms and embrace trade liberalization as a hallmark of its development strategy sends a vital signal to other Middle East nations. "An FTA with Morocco sends a message to the rest of the world that the United States is committed to supporting a longstanding friend and a staunch ally in the war on terrorism," he continued.

 


In addition to economic benefits, the ability to strengthen U.S. economic ties in the region has been seen as a vital tool in support of U.S. diplomatic efforts. The U.S.-Morocco FTA Coalition seeks to emulate the success of the recently enacted U.S.-Jordan FTA as the next step in greater joint cooperation throughout North Africa and the Middle East, and is supportive of the Bush Administration's recently announced plans to begin negotiations for the formation of a U.S.- Middle East Free Trade Area.

 


"We stand ready to assist the U.S. and Moroccan governments as they move the negotiations forward," said Peter Tichansky, President of the Business Council for International Understanding. "At a time of great uncertainty and potential peril at home and abroad, the United States must build closer ties with our friends and allies in the Muslim world and enhance stability in a moderate Islamic state like Morocco. An FTA is an important mechanism for achieving closer economic ties, which we believe will support our vital stakes in the region."

 


 

The National Foreign Trade Council is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based world economy. Founded in 1914 by a group of American companies that supported an open world trading system, the NFTC now serves 400 member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.

 

The Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU), a U.S. business association founded in 1959 at White House initiative, is dedicated to promoting dialogue and action between the business and government communities for the purpose of expanding international commerce.