U.S. Congress passes trade bill with anti-BDS amendment

An amendment to the newly passed trade bill in Congress stipulates opposition to the BDS movement as a core principle in trade negotiations with the EU. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

(JNS.org) The Trans-Pacific Partnership bill passed by the U.S. Congress on Wednesday includes an amendment requiring American negotiators to stipulate the rejection of boycotting Israeli products as a core principle in any trade talks with the European Union.

The trade bill—whose amendment takes a stand against the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement—initially passed with a majority in the House of Representatives last week, followed by Wednesday's affirmative 60-38 vote in the Senate.

The goal of the anti-BDS amendment is to enshrine “a principal negotiating objective that reinforces our opposition to official actions that boycott, penalize, or otherwise limit commercial relations with the State of Israel,” U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said when introducing the amendment, the Jerusalem Post reported.

By passing the bill with the amendment, Congress "has completed a major step to defend Israel from pernicious economic efforts by foreign governments to unfairly target our democratic ally, and to protect American businesses operating in Israel," the American Israel Public Affairs Committee said.

Posted on June 25, 2015 .