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Conference Report on H.r. 644, Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. Speaker, a couple of years ago, Israel's Ambassador Michael Oren wrote an opinion piece that got my attention, and he described the waves of attempts to wipe Israel off the map.

He said the first wave was military, and we know how that worked: Israel's enemies worked together, and they were not successful in defeating Israel back in 1948. The second wave was a wave of terror. That is still ongoing, but that wave has not been successful. Yet there is a third wave, and the third wave is, actually, more insidious. The third wave is a movement called the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement. It is an attempt to take away Israel's legitimacy, to hold Israel to a standard to which no other country in the world is held.

So let's not kid ourselves that this is an attempt to drive Israel to the negotiating table--this movement, that is. It is an attempt to wipe Israel off the map. It is the smart, long move for the haters of Israel.

But, today, in this bill, the House is saying we stand with Israel. We stand with Israel, and we are pushing back. We are making it the official policy of the United States, along with the Trade Promotion Authority Act, which says we are going to push back against state-sponsored BDS activities. There is good work here.

Mr. Speaker, there are many times when people ask: Can't people get along in Congress? The answer is, yes, we can. This is strongly supported on a bipartisan basis, and it does two things in particular that I want to bring your attention to:

Number one, it works to protect American companies from foreign lawsuits, which is incredibly important because of our strong commercial relationship with the Israelis. Secondly, it has a reporting requirement, so it makes the administration more mindful, and we are going to have more information.

I thank Congressman Vargas, who was a coauthor with me in some of the underlying legislation that was adopted by Chairman Brady and others. I thank all of the conferees.


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