Vice President, International Strategy and Partnerships, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
September 28, 2022
On September 28, the Chamber hosted senior officials from the U.S. and Israel for the inaugural U.S.-Israel Strategic High-Level Dialogue on Technology, a new government-to-government dialogue announced in July by President Biden and Prime Minister Lapid to advance strong bilateral cooperation on critical and emerging technologies and solutions to global challenges.
What is the Dialogue about?
The Dialogue, which is chaired by both countries’ national security advisors, is intended to strengthen our bilateral technology alliance, particularly in critical areas that benefit national security priorities, such as AI, pandemic preparedness, climate mitigation, and building trusted technology ecosystems.
Why is it important?
Israel often called “the Start-up Nation”, is well-known as a leading global innovation powerhouse. Among leading industrialized countries, Israel spends among the highest percentage of R&D per capita and has among the highest percentage of citizens working in the high-tech field. World-leading U.S. tech companies have tapped into Israel’s innovation ecosystem, employing tens of thousands of Israeli researchers at R&D centers throughout the country.
Israel and the United States have built an extraordinary technology partnership based on high-impact commerce, innovation, and trade. This collaboration is the result of the hard work and ingenuity of U.S. and Israeli entrepreneurs and innovators – and has been supported by landmark policy decisions made decades ago by the two governments, including the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement and the establishment of binational R&D foundations. However, at a time when governments and regions worldwide are aggressively using new public policy tools to foster stronger economic and technological ties, the continuation of U.S. and Israeli leadership is not guaranteed.
What is the Chamber doing?
The Chamber is working with the White House and the Israeli Prime Minister’s office to strengthen public-private collaboration around this new Dialogue to deepen our technological cooperation, work together to remove barriers to innovation, expand investment in R&D, ensure common standards and regulation, and create new avenues for government and business to collaborate on critical and emerging technologies.
The Chamber also signed an agreement with Israel’s leading business organization to bring American and Israeli companies together to work on shared strategic priorities around new technologies.
This Dialogue is an important foundation for growing our bilateral technology relationship. However, it is only the beginning. To institutionalize a robust bilateral innovation partnership with staying power, both governments must embark on a proactive round of deliberate, cooperative policy innovation and adopt modern mechanisms to strengthen technology ties.
The Chamber’s U.S.-Israel Business Council put forward recommendations to both governments on how policymakers can continue to lay down the infrastructure that will enable entrepreneurs, start-ups, global companies, researchers, and beyond to innovate and drive solutions to tomorrow’s greatest challenges.
About the authors
Joshua M. Kram is executive director for Middle East Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where he oversees programs and policy initiatives to broaden commercial relationships between the United States and markets in the Middle East.