7th Jul, 2011

The U.S. and Israel Continue Plan to Update U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement

The U.S. and Israel Continue Plan to Update U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement

U.S.-Israel business leaders meet with Deputy USTR Dan Mullaney to discuss modernizing the FTA

U.S.-Israel business leaders meet with Deputy USTR Dan Mullaney to discuss modernizing the FTA

Dan Mullaney, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative for the Middle East and Europe, recently spoke at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce about the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement (FTA), signed 26 years ago.  Mullaney said that the U.S.-Israel FTA, the United States’ first, has served as a model for economic and political advancements with other countries and regions of the world.  Bilateral trade has expanded with U.S. exports to Israel increasing by 18% last year and a total of 414% since the agreement’s inception; we have also increased the amount of goods we import from Israel by almost 12% last year to $21 billion, an increase of more than 1,000% since we signed the FTA.  Yet Mullaney continued, “25 years is old for an FTA, particularly given the extraordinary advances in technology since 1985, such as e-commerce, the “cloud,” and the importance of the services sector to each of our economies, none of which is reflected very well in the current agreement.”  Last fall, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and the Israeli Government began developing a work plan to develop ways in which both sides can more fully realize the potential gains to both countries under the FTA.  USTR has asked the U.S.-Israel Business Initiative and the American business community to provide input into this process to share suggestions and perspective on ways to increase trade and investment.

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