Celebrating 25th Anniversary of U.S.-Israel FTA, Secretary Locke & Senior Israeli Officials Highlight Economic Ties
WASHINGTON, D.C.—To coincide with the 25th anniversary of the signing of the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement (FTA), today the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched the U.S.-Israel Business Initiative with a global summit in Washington. Today’s events focused on strengthening the partnership between the two countries and propelling the alliance into one of the world’s strongest high-tech commercial trading relationships.
“Trade and commerce are among the most overlooked and least understood aspects of the U.S.-Israel relationship,” said Myron Brilliant, senior vice president of International Affairs for the U.S. Chamber. “The American business community has a true partner in Israel and this Initiative will complement our already strong relationship.”
Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and U.S. Ambassador to Israel James Cunningham joined their counterparts, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Labor and Michael Oren, Israeli Ambassador to the United States, to address top innovators and entrepreneurs from both countries about potential global investment opportunities, and provide guidance regarding the industries that will shape the future of the U.S.-Israel commercial alliance.
“The U.S.-Israel Business Initiative will infuse energy into the bilateral trade relationship that will change our alliance for generations to come,” said Brilliant. “By building upon burgeoning ties of industry and ingenuity, the United States and Israel can create an incredible synergy which can lead to mutual wealth and job creation.”
The U.S.-Israel Business Initiative will build on the success of the United States-Israel FTA, signed in 1985. The agreement led to significant economic growth and, according to 2008 data from the office of the U.S. Trade Representative, $14.5 billion in U.S. exports, up 11.3% from the previous year. In 2007, U.S. foreign direct investment in Israel totaled $10.1 billion.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.
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