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USTR and Israel Hold FTA Joint Committee Meeting

December 15, 2009

Washington, D.C. - Yesterday representatives of the United States and the Government of Israel convened a meeting of the Joint Committee of the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Christopher Wilson, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Europe and the Middle East, led a U.S. delegation that included representatives from the Departments of Commerce, Agriculture, and State.

At the Joint Committee meeting, officials discussed bilateral trade, investment and economic issues of mutual interest, as well as the administration of the FTA. Both governments acknowledged the progress and collaborative work that has taken place since the last meeting of the Joint Committee in Washington in October 2007. The delegations stressed that the Joint Committee meetings are an important aspect of the continued development of cooperation and partnership between the United States and Israel.

"These meetings in Israel are an important example of the United States' commitment to ensuring that our trade agreements are an economic success for workers, farmers, ranchers, businesses and consumers, and they also show how the FTA with Israel, along with the FTAs with Jordan, Bahrain, Morocco and Oman, demonstrates the United States' commitment to deepening our relationship with the Middle East region and to ensuring that the benefits of trade liberalization are spread broadly," said Wilson.

The FTA contributes significantly to the strong bilateral relations between the United States and Israel. The two sides agreed to continue their work to strengthen cooperation in trade, investment and other economic issues. Both delegations also acknowledged the importance of engaging their respective private sectors, particularly small to medium-sized enterprises, to take advantage of the FTA.