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Free Trade Agreement with the United States

In 1985, Israel became the first country ever to conclude a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States. 2005 year marks the 20th year anniversary of the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement. With the exception of agriculture products, the United States-Israel FTA has eliminated nearly all tariffs on trade and administrative import licensing requirements between the two countries. To fully take advantage of the benefits offered under the FTA, U.S. exporters should carefully review the information regarding the Certificate of Origin for U.S. exports to Israel or visit the USTR website.

Because of the FTA, U.S. companies have gained greater Israeli market access, reduced transaction costs, increased sales, and enhanced export revenues. Over the years, the FTA has supported strong U.S. export growth in the Israeli market by making U.S. products and services more attractive to Israeli consumers. Thanks in large part to the FTA, U.S. companies exported more than $6 billion worth of goods and services to Israel in 2005, making Israel the largest U.S. export market in the Middle East. U.S. companies are encouraged to take advantage of this historic agreement to expand their export opportunities in the Middle East’s most dynamic market.

The agreement, which has no expiration date, also provides for a Joint Committee comprised of representatives from both countries to review the functioning of the agreement. The last Joint Committee meeting took place in Washington, DC, July 8-9, 2004. The next meeting is expected to take place in Israel this fall.

For more information on how U.S. exporters can benefit from the United States-Israel FTA, please contact Commercial Specialist Yael Torres at yael.torres@trade.gov.