Report: U.S. Likely to Seek Trade Concessions from Israel

YERUSHALAYIM -
(Illustrative, Mendy Hechtman/Flash90)

President Donald Trump has been reexamining trade agreements between the United States and other countries around the world, and now it appears to be  Israel’s turn, a report in TheMarker said. An American negotiating team is set to arrive in Israel this week to discuss aspects of the various trade agreements Israel has with the U.S. The discussions are part of an overall effort by Trump to renegotiate trade agreements with countries around the world, to ensure that the U.S. gets the best deal possible, the report said.

Israel has had a free trade agreement with the U.S. since 1985. Much of Israel’s exports to the U.S. are in the industrial and high-tech sectors, while Israel imports consumer goods, industrial materials and agricultural products from the U.S. Experts told the newspaper that the American team will likely seek changes in the arrangements Israel has with the U.S. on the latter items, and ask Israel to increase the limits on the import of agricultural products.

Last September, the Agriculture Ministry recommended that the government allow more American grape juice into the country. Currently, Israeli importers can bring 100,000 liters of grape juice into the country. The ministry would like to see that figure increased to 200,000 liters. The 200,000 figure would be the same as the amount that can be imported from Europe. In 2016, over 6 million kilos of grape juice were imported into Israel, at a value of NIS 24,256,228, with that number falling in 2017, the ministry said.