Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
Fact Sheet
September 11, 2012


More information about Morocco is available on the Morocco Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.

U.S.-MOROCCO RELATIONS

Morocco formally recognized the United States by signing a treaty of peace and friendship in 1786. After a longstanding consular presence, permanent diplomatic relations began in 1905. Morocco entered into the status of a French protectorate from 1912 to 1956, and normal diplomatic relations were resumed after U.S. recognition of Moroccan independence in 1956. The two countries share common concerns and consult closely on regional security, political and economic transition, and sustainable development. Morocco is a strong partner in counterterrorism efforts, and it works closely with U.S. law enforcement to safeguard both countries’ national security interests.

U.S. Assistance to Morocco

Since 1957, the United States and Morocco have worked together to make real and substantial improvements in the lives of Moroccan citizens. In the wake of the Arab Spring, Morocco continues to make positive strides in pursuit of political reform and remains a strong U.S. supporter. The United States Agency for International Development programs aim to increase agricultural growth and productivity; enhance teacher training; build the capacity of local governments to respond to citizen demands; and address the needs of the most at-risk youth through engagement in productive social, economic and civic activities. Funding through the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) supports the work of Moroccan civil society through programming that provides training to journalists, businesspeople, female entrepreneurs, legislators, legal professionals, and the heads of leading nongovernmental organizations. Under the Joint-Statement on Environmental Cooperation, signed in 2004, the Department of State’s trade-related environmental cooperation programs focus on protecting the environment while promoting green economic development. The United States and Morocco signed a comprehensive Science and Technology Agreement in 2006. In 2008, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) commenced a five-year, $697.5 million compact with the Kingdom of Morocco to reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth. The MCC compact invests in expansion of fruit tree agriculture (including olives, nuts, and dates), support for small-scale fisheries and fish-markets, enhancement of the artisanal sector in the city of Fes, and training for small-scale businesses across all these sectors, with an emphasis on training for women and youth including literacy training.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The United States is Morocco’s 6th largest trading partner, and Morocco is the 55th largest trading export market for U.S. goods. In 2006, Morocco and the United States Free Trade Agreement entered into force. Morocco has also signed a quadrilateral FTA with Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan, and a bilateral FTA with Turkey. Additionally, it is seeking trade and investment accords with other African, Asian and Latin American countries. Morocco’s leading exports include phosphates and textiles. Morocco's banking system is one of the most liberalized in North Africa; it is also highly concentrated, with the six largest banks accounting for 85 percent of banking sector assets.

Morocco’s Membership in International Organizations

Morocco is a moderate Arab state that maintains close relations with Europe and the United States. It is a member of the United Nations (UN), and in January 2012 it began a 2-year term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Morocco belongs to the Arab League, Arab Maghreb Union (UMA), Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD). King Mohammed VI is the chairman of the OIC's Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Committee. Although not a member of the African Union (formerly the Organization of African Unity), Morocco remains involved in African diplomacy. Morocco is a party to the dispute over the Western Sahara in the UN. After Spain withdrew from its former colony there in the 1970s, Morocco claimed sovereignty over the region. A ceasefire between Morocco and the independence-seeking Polisario Front has been monitored since 1991 by a UN peacekeeping operation, the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Morocco is Samuel L. Kaplan; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Morocco maintains an embassy in the United States at 1601 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009; tel. 202-462-7979.

More information about Morocco is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Morocco Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
U.S. Embassy: Morocco
History of U.S. Relations With Morocco
Human Rights Report
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
U.S. Trade Representative
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Travel and Business Information
CIA World Fact Book
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Page
USAID Country Page
USAID Mission Page
Millennium Challenge Corporation
2012 National Trade Estimate Report on Morocco
Foreign Assistance Dashboard
Department of Labor – Child Labor Reports

[This is a mobile copy of Morocco]