Bennet Import Plan Angers Manufacturers


Minister of Economic Affairs Naftali Bennett has incurred the wrath of Israeli manufacturers over his plan to exempt importers from having to meet Israeli standards for goods that already meet international standards, Globes reported.

Bennett says that the reform, which will be included in a 2013 economic arrangements bill, will bring prices down on a wide range of imported goods by an estimated 10%.

But Manufacturers Association of Israel CEO Amir Hayek was fuming, charging that Bennett had held no discussions on the subject with manufacturers to hear their views.

“We favor competition for the Standards Institution of Israel, but non-reciprocal competition is unacceptable. A situation in which an Israeli exporter will have to examine its products in the target country, while the same duty will not apply in the other direction is unacceptable. Competition without reciprocity will harm Israeli industry. We’ve opposed such measures in the past, and if the subject comes up in an organized discussion as required, we’ll state our position,” he said.

The Standards Institution would not comment on Bennett’s proposal.

Its director, Danny Goldstein, has reportedly not yet seen the proposal, but that he wants to discuss it with Bennett.

In the past, the Standards Institution has warned that allowing imports that don’t have to comply with Israeli standards would result in flawed and unsafe products entering the country.

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