The Maghrib economies have been subjected to a number of economic policy pressures due to government choices and the international institutions recommendations during the last twenty years. At the end of a decade characterized by the structural adjustment programs, the liberalization and privatization processes were implemented at the international level by the WTO's, at regional level by the establishment of free trade agreements between individual states on the southern and eastern Mediterranean rim and the EU [under the Barcelona Process] and by bilateral agreements as the one signed between Morocco and United States. The overall logic of such measures was that liberalization and privatization would stimulate trade, support the requested modernization of the production systems and infrastructures, and enhance public administrations and services as well. Positive impacts on income, employments
and general welfare conditions were forecasted.
The main purpose of this study is to verify the above mentioned assumptions by the achievement of a better understanding of the impact of these economic measures on income formation, employment and welfare conditions in North Africa. The study has chosen to focus on the impacts of restructuring in the formal textile and clothing sectors (TC) which is the major employer in three Maghrib countries: Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. The textile and clothing sectors have been particularly exposed to increased competition in foreign and/or domestic markets. The study focused especially on the clothing sector.