US Congressional Bill Should Deter European Companies Boycotting Jewish State

The new legislation would require EU firms to provide a full account of its relations with the BDS movement against Israel and would include punitive action against companies that malign Israel, its products, or engaged in anti-Israeli activities.

By Erez Linn & Shlomo Cesana


The U.S. House of Representatives approved a measure Friday that could result in punitive measures against European companies that boycott Israel.

A measure to fight the boycotting of Israel is nearing its final passage – Photo: Reuters

The measure, which was already approved by the U.S. Senate last month, is part of the large bill called the Trade Act of 2015 that is set to arrive at the president’s desk in the near future. Under the bill’s Trade Promotion Authority, the president would be granted wide leeway to conclude a trade deal with the European Union. Congress would get the chance to vote on the deal but not on its various provisions.

The bill would essentially prevent the U.S. from engaging in free trade with a European trade partner (either the EU itself or a European corporation) so long as it is involved in the boycotting of Israel, potentially barring such entities from submitting bids for government contracts in the U.S. Moreover, a company that is traded in the U.S. stock exchange (or other American capital markets) would have to state whether it has engaged in anti-Israeli activity in Europe and provide a full account of its relations with the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel.

The TPA’s final passage is contingent on the approval of Trade Adjustment Assistance Act of 2015, whose fate is in limbo because of an internal divide among House Democrats.

The pro-Israel American Israel Public Affairs Committee has voiced its support for the anti-boycott language of the bill as well as former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. and current Kulanu MK Michael Oren, who was among its early backers. On Saturday, Oren said that the measure was proof that “one can take a proactive stance against the boycotts and the BDS movement.” He added that upon final passage, European companies would be deterred from boycotting Israel.


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