Israel’s Trade Minister, Emmanuel Nussbaum, said Wednesday that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the US and Israel will boost tourism and jobs in the region, as well as boost investment in the US-Israeli trade.
In a speech to a conference in Tel Aviv, Nussbaum said that the agreement would open up the market in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai and parts of the Jordan Valley to investment and tourism, and help boost the economies of both countries.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been pushing for CETA since it was signed in 2015, and has been seeking to win over US President Donald Trump, who is opposed to the deal.
The US and the European Union have warned that the deal could lead to a trade war and could be used by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as leverage.CETA, which the US has said would be beneficial for the US, will include a number of provisions aimed at easing economic barriers between the two countries, including a requirement for Israeli citizens to get their passports stamped before they can travel to the US.
Nussbaum said in the speech that Israel was also hoping to use the CETA deal to promote its ties with Europe and Latin America, where its economy is heavily dependent on exports to the region.
Israel and the US are close allies, and many Israelis say the CTA agreement will allow them to expand trade.
In addition to the West Wall and the Jordan River, the agreement will also include an agreement on a new high-speed rail link between Israel and Tel Aviv.
Israel is also planning to open its new $12 billion settlement on the occupied West Bank.