Fast Track Bill Targets Anti-Israel "BDS" Activities

AIPAC Press Release
Fast Track Bill Targets Anti-Israel "BDS" Activities

April 23, 2015

AIPAC praises the Senate Finance Committee for unanimously including an amendment targeting harmful anti-Israel trade and commercial practices in the “Fast Track” Trade Promotion Authority bill yesterday. AIPAC applauds the amendment's authors, Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Rob Portman (R-OH), and expresses appreciation to Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Democrat Ron Wyden (D-OR), who backed this key initiative.  

The amendment addresses efforts by foreign governments to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel. Utilizing well-established congressional tools, the provision directs that one of the principal American objectives in upcoming trade negotiations will be to discourage trading partners from taking actions that would limit U.S.-Israel commerce. The amendment also urges the U.S. Trade Representative to seek to eliminate politically-motivated economic attacks on Israel by America's free trade partners.

In considering another measure, the customs enforcement bill, the Finance Committee included additional important provisions to further combat BDS activities. The Committee established new requirements for administration reporting and disclosure by foreign companies of their participation in political boycotts of Israel.

Companion legislation to the anti-BDS amendment, H.R. 825, has been introduced in the House by Reps. Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Juan Vargas (D-CA).