Policy expert: Trump presidency may bring Israeli business boom

"The opportunity for Israeli companies now, given the priorities of the new administration, have never been better."

November 15, 2016 22:18
2 minute read.
Trump Israel

A man rides past a pro-Trump sign in Tel Aviv. (photo credit: REUTERS)

A prominent US attorney said Tuesday that a Trump presidency could prove good for Israeli business and technology.

Daniel Ritter, a senior partner at the Public Policy and Law practice group of the international law firm K&L Gates, told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday that Donald Trump’s electoral victory can actually usher in a boom for Israeli business and technology.

“At present Mr. Trump still remains – on most issues, for most countries – still a cypher, because he campaigned, with a few exceptions, largely on domestic policy,” Ritter told the Post. “That being said, to the extent we can make educated guesses and speculations, the answer is a resounding yes, Mr. Trump is good for Israeli business.”
Trump fans rally in Jerusalem

According to Ritter, the people who are surrounding Trump both within his family and professionally are by and large very supportive of Israel. These individuals hold a highly positive outlook on Israel and the importance of the US-Israel relations.

“To my mind, based on who they are and their backgrounds, they are more supportive of Israel arguably than any presidential candidate in my political memory. If you look for example at Mike Pence, who is the vice president-elect, he’s an Evangelical Christian and he has been openly and very powerfully supportive of Israel and against BDS not just now but for the last 25 years,” Ritter elaborated.

Just ahead of the elections, the Trump campaign released a document stating that the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Israel and the US under Obama’s administration “is very good, but a floor not a ceiling,” and that previously passed legislation relating to US-Israel technology cooperation is also “a floor not a ceiling.”

“These points argued that we should take [US-Israel cooperation] further and Congress should add more money. This is striking, especially given that it was put out just before the elections,” Ritter told the Post.

Ritter’s practice, K&L Gates, has been working in partnership with Gilad Government Relations and Lobbying firm over the past four years to assist Israeli companies that wish to enter the US market or expand their position in it. According to Ritter, with regard to US policy toward Israel, the earth has moved in a seismic shift which opened both political and business opportunities.

“The priorities the new administration described, where additional spending will take place, are some key Israeli specialties,” he said. “First and foremost cybersecurity – and Trump has spoken about both offensive and defensive cybersecurity. He also specifically spoke about a partnership with Israel in that context, and that has not always been the case historically.”

Other fields the Trump administration had earmarked for expansion and funding include fossil fuel technology, UAV related technology, and facial and voice recognition technology, all fields Israeli companies are pioneering.

“There are a host of Israeli technologies which relate to those issues, and these represent an opportunity for Israeli companies looking for R&D partnerships, joint ventures or even first entry into the US market,” Ritter explained. “From our perspective, the opportunity for Israeli companies now, given the priorities of the new administration, have never been better.”

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