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.
Morocco was one of the first countries to recognize the newly independent United States, opening its ports to American ships by decree of Sultan Mohammed III in 1777. Morocco formally recognized the United States by signing a treaty of peace and friendship in 1786, a document that remains the longest unbroken relationship in U.S. history. Full diplomatic relations began in 1905. Morocco entered into the status of a French protectorate from 1912 to 1956, and normal diplomatic relations resumed after U.S. recognition of Moroccan independence in 1956. The two countries have a long history of working together bilaterally and regionally.
Morocco and the United States share common concerns and consult closely on security, political, and economic issues and sustainable development. The United States designated Morocco a Major Non-NATO Ally in 2004, and the U.S. and Moroccan militaries hold joint exercises and training. Morocco is a strong partner in counterterrorism efforts and works closely with U.S. law enforcement to safeguard both countries’ national security interests. The U.S. and Morocco coordinate their efforts to promote regional stability and security, including through the Global Counterterrorism Forum and the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.
U.S. Assistance to Morocco
U.S. assistance to Morocco enhances the Government of Morocco’s (GOM) capacity to promote security and prevent acts of terrorism while addressing core drivers of instability, such as political and social marginalization. U.S. education and economic growth assistance aim to improve productivity and access to economic opportunity. Our support has a positive impact beyond Morocco’s borders in both the Middle East and Africa, bolstering Morocco’s emergence as a major partner for regional stabilization efforts.
USAID, the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), and the Millennium Challenge Corporation work with Morocco in order to advance U.S.-Morocco economic ties and promote good governance. USAID is working with Morocco to strengthen primary education and career training, supports civil society initiatives that address the needs of marginalized youth, and works to expand citizen participation in governance. MEPI builds civil society capacity, while also enabling civil society organizations to support women’s empowerment, youth leadership and volunteerism, increased civic engagement, entrepreneurship, skills training, and small business development. The Millennium Challenge Corporation is implementing its second compact with the Government of Morocco, for $450 million, in order to increase access to higher-quality secondary education and workforce development programs, and to assist Morocco to increase land productivity.
The United States works work with Morocco through a range of programs to enhance the two countries’ abilities to work together on regional security issues, including countering terrorism and countering illicit trafficking. Foreign Military Financing supports the modernization of Morocco’s military, and International Military Education and Training helps improve U.S. and Moroccan military interoperability. The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs partners with Morocco’s national police, the penitentiary administration, and the judiciary to support Morocco’s reform agenda. The Export Control and Related Border Security Program strengthens Morocco’s ability to counter the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, and Anti-Terrorism Assistance supports Moroccan expertise in crisis management, border security, and terrorism investigations.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Morocco seeks to establish itself as a hub for shipping, logistics, finance, assembly, and sales. Around 150 U.S. companies operate in Morocco, particularly in the renewable energy, infrastructure, aviation, and environmental technology sectors.
In 2006, Morocco entered into a free-trade agreement (FTA) with the United States. Since its entry into force, Moroccan exports to the United States have more than doubled, and U.S. exports to Morocco have more than quadrupled. From 2005 to 2019, the total value of Moroccan goods exported to the United States increased from $446 million to $1.582 billion, and U.S. exports to Morocco have increased from $481 million to $3.496 billion. The FTA has paved the way for increased foreign direct investment by helping to improve Morocco’s business climate, harmonize standards, and create legal guarantees for investors. While Morocco has made significant improvements in its business environment, foreign companies still encounter issues related to sluggish bureaucracy and lack of judicial expediency.
Morocco’s Membership in International Organizations
Morocco maintains close relations with Europe and the United States. Morocco belongs to the United Nations, Arab League, Arab Maghreb Union, Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Community of Sahel-Saharan States. King Mohammed VI chairs the OIC’s Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Committee. Morocco re-joined the African Union (formerly the Organization of African Unity) in January 2017 after 33 years’ absence.
Morocco is a party to the dispute over the Western Sahara. After Spain withdrew from its former colony there in 1975, 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. Since 1997, the UN Secretary-General has had a Personal Envoy of the Secretary General for the Western Sahara.
The U.S. Ambassador to Morocco is David Fischer; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.
More information about Morocco is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here: