The phase-out of the Multifibre Arrangement (MFA) under the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC) on January 1, 2005, has led to a significant decline in international prices of textile and clothing (T&C) products, benefiting consumers worldwide. But the lifting of remaining T&C quotas has also created tremendous pressures for retailers, distributors, and producers. Some of the most efficient producers, such as China and India, now free of quantitative limitations, are increasing their shares in major import markets at the expense of other countries.
This report investigates the impact of the MFA’s lapse on the T&C sectors in four countries of the Middle East and North Africa region: Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia (the MENA-4). In all four countries, the T&C sectors play a crucial role in trade, foreign exchange earnings, and job creation. These countries are key partners in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and, through the Agadir Agreement, in the Greater Arab Free Trade Area group. In both contexts, specific industry and trade policies could maximize the opportunities presented by MFA removal. This report analyses the early effects of MFA removal on the MENA-4 and formulates concrete policy recommendations on how to mitigate its impact.
Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan after the End of the Multi-Fiber Agreement: Impact, Challenges and Prospects?