Wider Atlantic Program
The U.S.-Morocco trade
relationship might benet from
some visible new examplesof success, at scale, andwith value chains of clear
benet to Morocco’s economic
other ronts. Te character and pace o economic recovery in Europe will exert a strong inuence on Moroccangrowth prospects over the next ew years. So, too, Moroccois a stakeholder in the overall evolution o the EuropeanUnion project, including the economic and political ate o southern European members. Sustained weakness in Spainand Portugal, in particular, could have a range o negativeimplications or Morocco-EU relations, rom mobility totrade and investment.Morocco’s economic relationship with the United Statesholds considerable potential, but has not expanded at therate many envisioned when the U.S.-Morocco Free radeAgreement was concluded in 2004, and then came intoeect in 2006. In 2012, the volume o Moroccan goodsexported to the United States approached $1 billion,a steady increase over previous years (U.S. exports toMorocco total almost three times this amount). In the view o many analysts, complexity hinders progress in this area,especially or small- and medium-sized manuacturersthat are less well placed to navigate the agreement’s provi-sions on rules o origin. France, Spain, Brazil, India, andothers remain more important bilateral trading partnersor Morocco, and Moroccan exports to the EU stood atroughly $16 billion in 2012. Beyond the rules o originquestion, there has been considerable debate over how toget more benet out o the bilateral FA. Overall, the U.S.-Morocco trade relationship might benet rom some visiblenew examples o success, at scale, and with value chains o clear benet to Morocco’s economic development. Tereare ew such examples to compare to the success o theRenault plant in angier, or other projects in a Morocco-Europe setting. Tis discussion is now unolding againstthe backdrop o active transatlantic trade negotiations. Teoutlook or these negotiations as well as the likely costsand benets or Morocco remain unclear, but a deal on theransatlantic rade and Investment Partnership (IP)could spell changes on rules o origin and other issues o importance to Morocco’s bilateral trade.Energy is also set to become a more prominent item onthe agenda. Morocco has an ambitious national programor the development o renewable energy, both solar andwind. Tis can contribute to Morocco’s economic develop-ment, but could also become a more important elementin the country’s geo-economic posture. Renewable energy can be a vehicle or cooperation with neighbors in theMaghreb and Atlantic Arica, including Cape Verde, andurther aeld. It was proposed that electricity generatedrom renewable sources could eventually be exported toEurope, and various ocial and commercial ventureshave been hotly engaged on this ront, including
.With demographic changes and demand shifs, Moroccois now looking to send a greater share o its power exportssouth, to energy-poor Arican states. Te renewables sectorshould attract growing interest rom U.S. and other inves-tors, especially i solar and wind power can be augmentedwith access to natural gas at reasonable prices. Lookingurther ahead, Morocco may also be able to exploit poten-tially substantial oshore oil and gas resources. Overall,these elements can help to reduce Morocco’s high nationalexpenditure on imported energy and domestic energy subsidies.
Opportunities and Opportunity Costs in the Maghreb
Over the last two decades or more, analysts and policy-makers have pointed to the substantial costs o a “non-Maghreb.”
Te very small volume o intra-Maghreb tradeand the closed land border between Morocco and Algeriahave had measureable, negative consequences or economicgrowth across the region. Te uprisings across the Arabworld, including North Arica, underscore the urgentneed or government and business leaders to ocus on thecore task o job creation, especially or large numbers o unemployed or underemployed youth. Morocco, Algeria,unisia, and Libya remain tied to a series o hub-and-spokeeconomic relationships with Europe. Tere have been some
2 See Gary Clyde Hufbauer and Claire Brunel, eds.,
Maghreb Regional and Global
Integration: A Dream to Be Fulflled
(Washington: Peterson Institute for InternationalEconomics, 2008).