U.S., Israel ink telecom trade agreement

As a result of the agreement, American-produced telecommunications equipment can enter the Israeli market if a recognized U.S. laboratory has deemed that the product conforms with Israeli technical requirements, according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).

Israeli regulators will honor the tests performed by recognized U.S. laboratories, "rather than requiring additional testing by Israeli laboratories," USTR said. On the same token, U.S. authorities will also accept the tests performed by recognized Israeli laboratories.

“This agreement will save American manufacturers money and time," Miriam Sapiro, deputy U.S. trade representative, said in a statement. "It will facilitate trade by allowing for product testing and certification only once, in the United States, prior to exporting the product to Israel."

Sapiro and Shalom Simhon, the Israeli Minister of Industry, Trade and Labour, signed the agreement on Monday. It will go into effect after the U.S. and Israel "have completed all internal legal requirements," according to USTR.

The agreement upholds the Federal Communication Commission's authority to set the technical and safety requirements for the U.S. market.

Trade between the U.S. and Israel totaled over $31 billion in 2011, according to USTR.