Under the United States-Israel Free Trade Area Agreement (FTA), signed in 1985, the United States and Israel agreed to implement phased tariff reductions culminating in the complete elimination of duties on all products by January 1, 1995.
Most tariffs between the United States and Israel have been eliminated as agreed, although tariff and nontariff barriers continue to affect a certain portion of U.S. agricultural exports.
To address temporarily the differing views between the two countries over how the United States-Israel FTA applies to trade in agricultural products, in 1996 the United States and Israel signed an Agreement on Trade in Agricultural Products (ATAP), establishing a program of gradual and steady market access liberalization for food and agricultural products effective through December 31, 2001.
Negotiation and implementation of a successor ATAP was successfully completed in 2004. This agreement was effective through December 31, 2008, and grants improved access for select U.S. agricultural products. This agreement was extended through December 31, 2009.
The agreement provides U.S. food and agricultural products access to the Israeli market under one of three different categories: unlimited duty free access, duty free tariff-rate quotas (TRQs), or preferential tariffs, which are set at least 10 percent below Israel's Most Favored Nation (MFN) rates. The agreement also provided for annual increases in the in-quota quantity under the TRQs.