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Morocco’s OCP hires US public relations firm FleishmanHillard for trade fight

OCP headquarters in Casablanca. / DR
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Morocco’s phosphate fertilizer company OCP has signed an agreement with American public relations and marketing agency FleishmanHillard (FH) to fend off countervailing duties imposed by the US Commerce Department, O'Dwyer's reported on reported on Wednesday.

FH mentioned in its letter agreement with OCP that it has prepared a two-phase communications program, that started on October 6, to help the Moroccan group with its countervailing duties litigation and investigations.

Phase 1 is a one-month preparation stage with a budget of $100,000 includes «information gathering, traditional/US social media analysis, stakeholder identification/recommendations, information analysis, materials customization and digital planning».

Phase 2 is an «activation and engagement push», expected to «last for five months and budgeted at no more than $250,000».

The same phase will include «external outreach, earned media, stakeholder/grassroots/grasstops engagement, microsite development, online grassroots, on-the-ground high-touch grasstops and paid digital amplification», the same source added.

It is worth mentioning that, Cornerstone Government Affairs, American bipartisan public affairs firm specializing in government relations and lobbying, has also signed a $300,000 one-year contract with the US affiliate of OCP.

The signing of the two agreements comes as American producer of concentrated phosphate Mosaic Co. filed in June petitions with the Commerce Department and the US International Trade Commission to investigate whether phosphate fertilizers in Morocco and Russia are receiving unfair subsidies.

For the record, OCP is planning to challenge the petition as its fertilizers «do not receive any form of subsidy from the state», officials from the company said.

OCP had even announced that it could consider stopping fertilizer sales in the United States if the country’s Commerce Department imposes an anti-subsidy duty on its imports.

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