The Moroccan government has decided to impose unprecedented restrictions on all Turkish goods, as well as on the operation of Turkish store chains in Morocco for 5 years.
Earlier, the Moroccan government, concerned that a 2004 free trade agreement with Turkey harmed its producers and retailers, announced last week that negotiations begun with Ankara in January resulted in an amendment in August.
A source in the ministry of commerce said the amendment allows Morocco to raise tariffs by up to 90% on 1200 goods, including textiles and clothing, for five years.
Turkey’s trade ministry declined to comment.
Giyasettin Eyyupkoca, head of Turkey’s Laleli Industry and Business Association, said Morocco has long imposed the highest legal duties on Turkish imports to bolster domestic production. But exporters have faced “unofficial and unreported” border delays in recent months, he said. According to Eyyupkoca, it now takes 10-12 days to clear Turkish goods through customs instead of the usual 2.
Eyyupkoca said fears of a “tougher stance” from North African countries were heightened by rising trade barriers in the Gulf, where the Saudi Arabian Chamber of Commerce has called for a politically motivated boycott of Turkish goods.
In 2019, Turkey exported $2.2 billion worth of goods to Morocco, creating a trade deficit for Rabat and prompting some Moroccan lawmakers and industry officials to file unfair competition complaints.