israeli us flags 298.88.
(photo credit: Courtesy of NJJN)
Successive American presidents and Israeli prime ministers have spoken out about
the importance of the US-Israel relationship and how this alliance is
sacrosanct, based on Israel’s standing as a vital US military and political ally
and a key outpost of Western-style democracy in the Middle East.
of the most critical elements shaping US-Israeli relations is actually one of
the most overlooked: the commercial ties between American and Israeli companies.
While these partnerships have generated innovations that have transformed the
world, they’re about to receive an infusion of energy that will change the
countries’ alliance for generations to come.
This month, the US Chamber
of Commerce is launching the US-Israel Business Initiative, a national effort to
strengthen and advance US-Israel commercial relations. The new enterprise kicked
off officially with a global summit in Washington, bringing together American
and Israeli government leaders and top innovators and entrepreneurs from both
Following the event and working with partners in the US and
Israel, the chamber is implementing a multifaceted program, including the
development of grassroots and online educational tools, a high-level forum for
American and Israeli business exchanges, and events that will shine a light on
this aspect of the bilateral relationship to deepen the commercial
US business partnerships with Israel really began 25 years
ago this month, when America and Israel codified an economic relationship by
inking the first bilateral trade agreement in the post-World War II
That historic compact led to a tenfold increase in trade between the
two countries. As America works to reboot its economy, increased trade with
Israel can provide a promising avenue for creating more high-quality jobs
In recent years, the US business community has begun paying
increased attention to Israel – and for good reason. Israel has evolved from a
hardscrabble economy relying upon on US aid, tourism and fruit exports into a
global economic powerhouse and hotbed of entrepreneurship.
Israel has more start-ups per capita than anywhere in the world, and there are
more Israeli companies found on the NASDAQ stock market today than any other
countries besides the US and China.
The Intel microchips found in
hundreds of millions of computers worldwide – including the Pentium MMX Chip,
the Pentium-4 and the Centrino – were all designed in Israel.
innovation, Google Suggest, is an innovative Israeli-developed tool that reduces
browser search times by automatically completing search queries. Israeli
engineers originally designed the program with China in mind, where the length
and complexity of Chinese characters made searches unwieldy. Following the
product’s overwhelming success there, Google rolled it out in more than a
hundred other countries, including the US.
While around the US a
tremendous amount of good work has been done to spotlight Israeli innovation and
to help foster connections and relationships, so much more can be done to
capture the energy and promise that Israel offers to American companies and the
broader USIsrael relationship.
The chamber’s October summit is the
launching pad for its long-term initiative. In the months and years ahead, the
chamber will help lead the way in increasing awareness of the opportunities
created by Israeli commercial partnerships. The role of catalyst for this
endeavor is a natural fit for the chamber, which is at the forefront of American
trade, representing the business interests of small, medium and large American
companies. From our headquarters near the White House, we maintain a
professional staff of hundreds of the nation’s top policy experts, lobbyists,
lawyers and communicators.
As the chamber embarks on this new project, we
are fortunate that we can build on the excellent work that has taken place for
years at the local, state and regional levels through the US-Israel chambers of
commerce, the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce in Tel Aviv and other business
groups around the country. These organizations have played a vital role, and we
look forward to joining forces with them to advance our shared goals.
pooling resources and talent, the US and Israel are creating a remarkable
synergy that is good for both countries and literally changing our world. We
have already seen the impact on a wide range of industries from energy to life
sciences to communications and technology, where the examples are too numerous
to name. Israel’s modern-day impact around the globe is fulfilling an ancient
mandate to serve as a light unto the nations.
By building upon burgeoning
ties of industry and ingenuity, and with the chamber’s Business Initiative
providing a framework, America and Israel have a unique opportunity to use
commerce to deepen relations between our countries.
Such efforts will
enable both nations to move from strength the strength in the years ahead to
help deliver increased economic prosperity and innovation that benefits not just
America and Israel and our hardworking citizens but ultimately billions of
people all across the world.Myron Brilliant is senior vice president for
international affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest