WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement on his amendment to the Trade Promotion Authority legislation that would counter the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. The amendment, which passed unanimously, would require U.S. trade negotiators to make rejection of BDS a principal trade negotiating objective in Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations with the European Union. The TPA bill was approved by the Finance Committee with a 20-6 vote.
“Israel is one of America’s closest allies and the only stable democracy in the Middle East. We may not agree with every Israeli policy, but we cannot allow our potential trading partners in the EU to fall prey to efforts that threaten Israel’s existence. Economic tools and trade agreements have been used throughout world history to move governments and change policy, but when these actions seek to de-legitimize a country’s right to exist, we need to draw a line.”