US President Barack Obama signed into law on Monday a controversial trade bill that includes landmark legislation combating the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Surprisingly, Democrats in the House of Representatives rallied against the trade bill, The Trade Promotion Authority legislation, which they said could impact American jobs.
The new bill will allow US trade officials to seal a long-awaited deal with Asia, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, under “fast-track authority.” One of the key provisions in the agreement contains anti-BDS measures, which will greatly impact the future of US-European trade relations.
The sponsors of the bill hope to discourage European government from BDS activities in exchange of free trade agreements with the US.
“This is an historic milestone in the fight against Israel’s enemies, as American opposition to insidious efforts to demonize and isolate the Jewish state is now the law of the land,” said Rep. Peter Roskam, one of the sponsors of the bill along with Rep. Juan Vargas. “The bipartisan bill enacted today conditions any free trade agreement with the European Union on its rejection of BDS.”
“This will force companies like telecom giant Orange, which is partially owned by the French government, to think twice before engaging in economic warfare against Israel. No longer will these companies be able to freely attack a key US ally without consequence,” Roskam added.
“Nevertheless, what we accomplished today is just the beginning. As the BDS movement continues to evolve, so too must our response.”