Senators and Representatives Urge Trade Representative to Oppose EU Anti-Israel Labeling

AIPAC Press Release
Senators and Representatives Urge Trade Representative to Oppose EU Anti-Israel Labeling
                            November 12, 2015

AIPAC commends the bipartisan group of senators and representatives who are urging the U.S. Trade Representative to oppose the new European Union (EU) guidelines for labeling Israeli products. The EU has imposed a labeling policy on certain products made by Israeli companies imported into the EU. The new guidelines would - either intentionally or inadvertently - promote a de-facto boycott of the Jewish state.  

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA) sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Michael Froman, urging him to utilize the anti-boycott provisions in the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation “to express opposition to these new labeling guidelines and any further actions they might be contemplating to restrict commerce with Israel, isolate Israel and exert unilateral economic pressure on Israel to make political concessions outside of the negotiating process.”

Earlier this year, Congress adopted TPA legislation that contains a provision requiring the United States - during upcoming Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations - to discourage Europe from enacting any politically motivated measures that would boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel.

The letter also notes that Congress and the executive branch have long fought such attacks on our ally, including through legislation enacted in the 1970s to block enforcement of the Arab League Boycott of Israel.

Before the EU guidelines were issued, Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) led 36 senators in sending a bipartisan letter to Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini. The senators noted that the new labeling policy, “appears intended to discourage Europeans from purchasing these products and promote a de-facto boycott of Israel, a key ally and the only true democracy in the Middle East.” Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) sent a similar letter to Mogherini, signed by 36 of his colleagues, urging her not to issue labeling guidelines for Israeli products.