ITC TO STUDY U.S.-ISRAEL FARM TRADE
The U.S. International Trade Commission has initiated a general fact-finding investigation into the likely effects of a free-trade agreement between the United States and Israel on the U.S. agricultural exports sector.
The investigation, U.S.-Israel Agricultural Trade: Likely Effects on the U.S. and Israeli Agricultural Industries of U.S.-Israel Trade Conducted on a Free Trade Environment (Inv. No. 332-424), was requested by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in a letter Dec. 1.
The commission’s investigation will also cover the trade impact of the 1996 U.S.-Israel Agreement on Trade in Agricultural Products (ATAP), which was part of the 1985 U.S.-Israel free trade area agreement (FTA). ATAP is due to expire on Dec. 31, 2001.
“U.S. exporters of agricultural products have continued to face significant market barriers in Israel despite the ATAP,” according to the USTR letter. The letter further states that Israel, by contrast, “enjoys nearly full access to the U.S. market,” the commission said.
The ITC will hold a public hearing in Washington regarding the study on March 6. Written comments from the industry will be accepted by the commission through June 1, 2001.