An Israeli exporter in the US is going to have to get used to a different kind of trade promotion in the coming weeks, as he and his company will be receiving an email from the State Department offering a deal to make the most of a new agreement with the US.
The State Department has said that it will work with American companies on the proposed deal, which would make it easier for them to sell their products to Israeli customers, and would encourage American companies to export to Israel, with the understanding that Israel will not get any of the profits.
The email, dated July 15 and addressed to the President and Congress, asks for input on the “Proposal to Eliminate Trade Exclusionary Measures” and calls for a “comprehensive discussion” about “future trade policy, including whether US trade policy should be altered to facilitate Israeli trade promotion.”
The State department said that the email would be available “to anyone interested in participating.”
The proposed deal was announced last week by Secretary of State John Kerry and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, and is aimed at helping American exporters like the United Technologies Corp., Caterpillar Inc. and General Electric Co. to better compete in the global market for their goods and services.
The US-Israel relationship has been strained for years, particularly over the controversial construction of the Israeli separation barrier.
Last year, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the US should recognize Israel’s right to exist and that the barrier was illegal.
The move was a major blow to the US-led negotiations aimed at securing a final peace agreement between the Palestinians and Israel.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry did not respond to a request for comment on the email.US Trade Representative Ron Kirk told the Hill that it would be a mistake for the US to abandon the two-state solution, which he said has worked for the country’s citizens.
He said that, in the long run, the US would be better off if Israel followed the path of Israel’s neighbors, such as Canada and Mexico, in accepting that its people and its institutions would continue to be respected.
The agreement between Kerry and Pritzkers is expected to be approved by the State Senate on July 20.