Roskam, Vargas Unveil U.S.-Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act

Feb 10, 2015
Press Release
Bipartisan Legislation Counters BDS, Strengthens U.S.-Israel Economic Relationship

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Congressman Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Congressman Juan Vargas (D-CA) released the following statements after introducing H.R. 825, the U.S.-Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act. This bipartisan bill would counter the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel and strengthen the U.S.-Israel economic relationship. Over the past several years, a growing contingency of countries across the globe have sought to isolate and delegitimize Israel through BDS. This bill leverages ongoing trade negotiations to discourage prospective U.S. trade partners from engaging in economic discrimination against Israel. It also establishes a clear U.S. policy in opposition to state-led BDS, which is detrimental to global trade, regional peace and stability.

“The historic alliance between the United States and Israel is rooted in shared moral standards, mutual strategic interests, and a commitment to confronting common enemies wherever they may surface,” said Congressman Roskam. “Today, an alarming number of countries within the European Union and beyond have embraced BDS as a form of economic warfare aimed to cripple Israel’s economy and demonize its very existence. These attacks not only threaten Israel, but commercial relations across the globe. The U.S-Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act will ensure that American free trade partners never engage in this harmful and illegitimate political protest against Israel, while also protecting U.S. companies from foreign lawsuits targeting their associations with Israel. I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation with Congressman Vargas. Although we hail from different political parties, we share a common belief that a strong and prosperous Israel is a necessity for the United States. Congress has always been the bedrock of the U.S.-Israel relationship, and we have an historic opportunity before us to once again reaffirm the mutually beneficial ties that bind our great nations."

“BDS is a harmful political tactic which seeks to undermine and diminish Israel’s economic strength,” said Congressman Vargas. “We need to reassure our commitment to our ally in the region by clearly defining U.S. policy to oppose this practice and dissuade other nations from adopting BDS policies toward Israel.”

View the full bill text.

View the one-page summary.

View the section-by-section.

View letter of support from Dr. Michael Oren.