Press Release: U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce Seeks Out New U.S.-Israeli Business Opportunities; Condemns UN ‘Blacklist’; Emphasizes U.S. Stands Firmly Behind U.S. Companies Doing Business with Israel
February 26, 2020
Ian Steff, Assistant Secretary for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service at the U.S. Department of Commerce, addressed Israeli business owners yesterday (February 26, 2020) at the Israel-USA Business Summit.
“The United States remains the largest single country trading partner with Israel and I’m pleased to once again experience firsthand the vibrant and dynamic Israeli business climate during my official visit,” said Steff. “Even with our rich partnership, we look forward to working with a newly elected Israeli government with an eye to increasing cooperation in our commercial bilateral relationship.”
Steff also reiterated the Trump Administration’s opposition to the ‘blacklist’ of companies that was recently published by the U.N Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights earlier this month: “We could not be more disappointed with the action of the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights took earlier this month to issue a so-called ‘blacklist’ of companies including several American companies doing business in Israeli-controlled territories. We are adamantly opposed to boycotts against Israel. Let me be very clear: the government of the United States of America stands firmly by U.S. companies doing business and encourages all American businesses to continue to partner and invest in Israel as well as in Palestinian communities.”
Steff also discussed foreign direct investment in Israel. He said the US “continues to urge Israel and all U.S. trading partners to be aware of the potential risks of unmonitored foreign direct investment.” He noted that Israel sent a positive signal recently with the announcement of a new investment advisory committee to ensure that foreign investment does not run afoul of Israeli national security concerns and underscored that the US is “committed to working with Israel to strengthen this new mechanism, as well as to continue invigorating our strong, important and strategic trade relationship.”
The U.S. Commercial Service team in the U.S. Embassy in Israel offers the SelectUSA program, which offers Israeli companies and startups prospects for advancement in the U.S. market. Israeli companies have invested over 38.5$ billion in the U.S. The SelectUSA team provides companies with information and connections with cities and states across the U.S., in accordance with their individual investment strategy. The U.S. Commercial Service is also assisting Israelis looking to source American goods, services and suppliers, by working closely with American exporters who are interested in Israel.
To contact the U.S. Commercial Service in Israel, visit: www.export.gov/israel