U.S. and Israel Sign Telecommunications Trade Agreement
The United States and Israel signed a trade agreement on Monday that is designed to stimulate trade between the two countries and make it easier for American companies to export telecommunications equipment to Israel, The Hill reported.
The agreement aims to streamline the process used by American and Israeli companies to certify that their telecommunications equipment meets the technical requirements and regulations set by each country.
As a result of the agreement, American-produced telecommunications equipment can enter the Israeli market if a recognized U.S. laboratory has deemed that the product meets the Israeli technical requirements, according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).
Israeli regulators will honor the tests performed by recognized U.S. laboratories, "rather than requiring additional testing by Israeli laboratories," USTR said, according to The Hill.
U.S. authorities, in turn, will accept the tests performed by recognized Israeli laboratories.
“This agreement will save American manufacturers money and time," Miriam Sapiro, deputy U.S. trade representative, said in a statement. "It will facilitate trade by allowing for product testing and certification only once, in the United States, prior to exporting the product to Israel."
Sapiro and Shalom Simhon, the Israeli Minister of Industry, Trade and Labour, signed the agreement on Monday. It will go into effect after the U.S. and Israel "have completed all internal legal requirements," according to USTR.
The agreement upholds the Federal Communication Commission's authority to set the technical and safety requirements for the U.S. market.
Trade between the U.S. and Israel totaled over $31 billion in 2011, according to USTR.