WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today the Section 301 Committee of the US Trade Representative formally received a petition demanding $6.64 billion in compensation for US exporters. In 1984 US exporters were urged to submit business confidential data about their prices, market share, internal costs and market strategy to the International Trade Commission. The USTR guaranteed confidentiality and compiled the data into a classified report for use in negotiating the US-Israel Free Trade Agreement.
The Israeli government obtained the classified USTR report and passed it to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee to use in lobbying and public relations. Declassified FBI investigation files in the petition reveal AIPAC's legislative director made illicit duplications before returning the report by order of the USTR. The FBI interviewed Israeli Minister of Economics Dan Halpern who admitted obtaining the classified document and giving it to AIPAC.
According to the petition Israel unfairly leveraged the business confidential data stolen from US corporations and industry groups to create new export oriented industries to penetrate the American market. Israel thereby gained an unwarranted systemic advantage. The US-Israel FTA is an anomaly among all bilateral FTAs in that it principally benefits the foreign party, providing a destination for 40% of Israel's exports. The petition claims it is now a private industry funded foreign aid program. In 2010 the US Israel FTA produced an $11.2 billion US deficit in goods trade. Over a decade the US deficit has averaged $7.09 billion per year. The cumulative US-Israel deficit in current dollars since 1985 is $80.9 billion.
Analysis of all other US-bilateral FTAs reveals that they do not deliver a systemic advantage to either partner. In 2010, the US had a $31.43 billion total surplus with its other bilateral FTA partners, though in 2006 and 2007 these same agreements produced a narrow US deficit.
The petition recommends the $6.64 billion be proportionally divided between nearly 80 US organizations according to their trailing 10 year revenues. If the Israeli government will not pay damages directly, the petition recommends the US implement a five year import duty over all Israeli exports to the United States to generate the compensation.
For information about the petition and compensation formula, contact Grant F. Smith at the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington, DC at 202-342-7325 or by email at info@IRmep.org.