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Sens. Cruz, Cotton, Colleagues Urge Administration to Ensure Guidelines on Israeli Goods Labeling Policy Are Not Discriminatory

November 19, 2020

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202-228-7561

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) this week sent a letter to President Trump urging the administration to ensure that U.S. customs policy and guidelines are not discriminatory and will allow Israeli goods produced in Judea and Samaria to be labeled "Made in Israel."

In the letter, the senators wrote:

"Your administration should continue its string of pro-Israel policy changes by undoing these misguided Clinton-era guidelines, thereby allowing Israeli goods produced in Judea and Samaria to be labeled as ‘Made in Israel.' This decision would be yet another achievement by your administration that would support Israel and would push back against anti-Semitism and the BDS movement."

Read the full text of the letter here and below.

Mr. President,

We write to urge you to change U.S. customs policy and guidelines to allow Israeli goods produced in Judea and Samaria to be labeled "Made in Israel."

We appreciate your leadership and many achievements in support of Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East. Unfortunately, the United Nations and some prominent members of the Democratic Party are working to oppose Israel and to support the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to isolate and damage Israel economically. In order to provide the BDS movement with targets for its anti-Israel boycotts, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights released on February 12, 2020 a blacklist of over 100 Israeli, U.S., and other international companies operating in Judea and Samaria.

In 2016, the Obama administration republished country-of-origin labeling guidelines introduced by the Clinton administration in 1995. These Clinton-era guidelines changed longstanding U.S. policy to require "Made in West Bank'' labels to be put on Israeli goods produced in Judea and Samaria, even though the U.S. government treats these products as "articles of Israel'' for trade purposes. While it is our understanding that this labeling policy is not enforced by U.S. authorities, we are concerned that a future administration could choose to enforce these rules and thereby differentiate Israeli goods produced in Judea and Samaria, making them prime targets for BDS boycotts.

Your administration should continue its string of pro-Israel policy changes by undoing these misguided Clinton-era guidelines, thereby allowing Israeli goods produced in Judea and Samaria to be labeled as "Made in Israel." This decision would be yet another achievement by your administration that would support Israel and would push back against anti-Semitism and the BDS movement.

Thank you for considering this important matter. We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

/s/

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