WASHINGTON – More than 80 officials from Israel and the US participated in the 34th meeting of the US–Israel Joint Economic Development Group at the State Department last week.
The annual economic policy
dialogue has been taking place since 1985, according to the Treasury Department
, which said in a release that “Both sides expressed satisfaction with the trajectory of bilateral economic relations and underscored respective commitments to expanding and deepening policy coordination and cooperation across a broad range of sectors.”
According to the Treasury Department’s press release, the sides discussed “risk management for foreign investments.” When asked if the delegations specifically discussed Chinese investments in Israel, Eran Nitzan, Israel’s economic attaché in Washington, declined to comment to The Jerusalem Post.
Nitzan said three areas of cooperation were discussed.
“The first is quantum information science and artificial intelligence
research collaboration,” Nitzan said. “We want to cooperate around the national AI plans of each country. Specifically, we would like to promote investment in generic AI research. That is a very important development.”
In addition, the group discussed how the corporate tax treaty “could be fixed since it is obsolete,” he said. “The payments on interest, dividends and royalties should be dramatically reduced. At the moment, it is very high since it was written in the ‘70s. It is much higher than the tax rates in each of the countries.”
Lastly, they discussed cooperation around the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.
“There is one major lab in Illinois, who is working on a project with scientists from a number of countries,” Nitzan explained. “We would like to find a way that Israel would be a part of that project, too.”
The US has been worried for some time about Chinese investments in Israel. In August, a senior official in US President Donald Trump’s administration told The Jerusalem Post that the establishment of an oversight mechanism for Chinese investments in Israel is important to ensure the continued growth of Israeli-US ties.
“We think that strong decisions taken now will ensure that trajectory,” the official added last summer.
According to a statement from the Treasury Department, “the Israeli JEDG delegation was headed by Director General of the Israeli Finance Ministry Shai Babad and included Israel’s Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer, Governor of the Bank of Israel Amir Yaron and Chief Economist Shira Greenberg, as well as officials from Ministries of Finance, Transportation, Foreign Affairs, Israel Tax Authority, High Education Council, and academics from Bar-Ilan University.”
US Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs Brent McIntosh headed a large US delegation, which included officials from the Departments of State, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, Energy, and Transportation, as well as USAID, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, according to the Treasury Department release.