European Parliament Approves Trade Pact with Israel
The European Parliament has approved a trade pact with Israel after a two-year delay, and foiling efforts by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign to block it again.
The Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (ACAA) passed Tuesday in a vote of 379-230. As a result, technical trade barriers will be removed, allowing Israeli pharmaceutical firms such as generic medications giant Teva Pharmaceuticals to export to Europe.
The move will bring thousands of life-saving drugs to the continent at much lower prices than they are currently paying, while further raising Israel's already healthy economic profile.
The European Parliament received praise for the vote from David Schwammenthal, director of the American Jewish Committee Transatlantic Institute in Brussels, although he pointed out the pact had actually been agreed to already two years earlier.
“This was about politics,” he said, but noted that Israeli pharmaceuticals are “at the cutting edge of research. He added that the pact was worthwhile for Europe: “Israeli medicines help healthcare providers reduce spending while maintaining high quality standards.”