Congress Approves Trade Agreements With Australia, Morocco

Smaller U.S. exporters should soon discover a variety of new exporting opportunities in Australia and Morocco, after the U.S. Congress approved free trade agreements with those two nations in mid-July. Australia will henceforth allow over 99% of U.S. manufactured goods to enter duty-free, and Morocco will do the same for over 95% of U.S. industrial and consumer products. Small and mid-size U.S. exporters — already the majority of U.S. companies trading with Australia and Morocco — will have the ability to lower selling prices across a broad range of goods and services that had been subject to tariffs. Both agreements also make substantial headway in cutting back non-tariff barriers to U.S. products.

In addition, the agreements provide U.S. companies with much improved access to government procurement in Australia and Morocco. This is particularly significant in the case of Australia, which had long shielded its government procurement process from major foreign competition.

As with the last year’s Chile and Singapore free trade agreements, a strong, bipartisan majority in Congress voted “yes”. The House of Representatives voted 314-109 for the Australia agreement and 323-99 for the Morocco deal. In the Senate the votes were 80-16 in favor of the Austrialia agreement, and 85-13 in favor of the Morocco one.

SBEA had favored both agreements. We salute the leaders of Australia and Morocco for the farsightedness they have shown on trade, and the U.S. leadership, particularly the U.S. trade negotiators at the Office of the United States Trade Representative, for their diligence and expertise in bringing these negotiations to a successful conclusion.