An applied general equilibrium model with oligopoly and scale economies, based on detailed plant-level data, is used to contrast the impacts of the Morocco-EU free trade area (FTA) to multilateral trade liberalization on Morocco’s economy. Simulation results show that the FTA agreement is likely to have adverse effects on Morocco due to: (a) deteriorating terms of trade, (b) reductions in output per firm in industries dominated by scale economies, (c) diversion of imports away from non-EU suppliers, and (d) potentially adverse effects on the aggregate demand for labor. We contrast this FTA with a multilateral liberalization scenario along the lines of those proposed under the Doha Development Round and find this more beneficial to Morocco, with overall welfare gains due to: (a) lesser terms of trade losses, (b) positive scale effects, (c) non-preferential liberalization of imports into Morocco, and (d) a positive impact on aggregate labor demand. We conclude that Morocco would be better off pursuing trade liberalization in the multilateral arena.
International trade liberalization, North Africa, Applied general equilibrium, Market Structure, Trade liberalization, Developing economies, Morocco
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