Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Israel's Bitch to drop trade barriers

Israel and the United States marked 25 years of their free trade agreement with plans to remove remaining barriers between the two countries.

Benjamin Ben Eliezer, the Israeli trade minister, met Tuesday with his counterparts, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, on the sidelines of a U.S. Chamber of Commerce conference marking the anniversary.

In a joint release, the sides said they hoped to have in place by early next year a plan that would "explore opportunities available under liberalized trade in agriculture and services," as well as "regulatory differences to ensure the free movement of goods, services and capital through modern and efficient borders."

An Israeli official said the U.S. side was seeking the liberalization in agricultural trade, while the Israelis were seeking freer movement, including through a more liberal visa policy.

Israel was the first U.S. free trade partner.


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