Reps. Tenney and Zeldin, Foreign Affairs Committee Colleagues Introduce Bill to Ban Restrictions on “Made in Israel” Country-of-Origin Labeling | Congressman Lee Zeldin

Reps. Tenney and Zeldin, Foreign Affairs Committee Colleagues Introduce Bill to Ban Restrictions on “Made in Israel” Country-of-Origin Labeling

September 23, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1), member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and co-chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus, joined Representatives Claudia Tenney (R, NY-22), Ronny Jackson (R, TX-13), Brian Mast (R, FL-18) and Joe Wilson (R, SC-2) in introducing the Anti-BDS Labeling Act, which would prevent the Biden Administration from unraveling the existing policy that requires Israeli goods produced in Judea and Samaria to be labeled as “Made in Israel.”

Instituting such a change to existing policy would empower the antisemitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which is focused on economically targeting and discriminating against certain Israeli goods and businesses. 

“There is widespread, deeply held concern about the growing embrace of the BDS movement against Israel and attempted normalization of antisemitic and anti-Israel ideals by private companies, institutions of higher education and political activists. This legislation takes important steps to combat anti-Israel and antisemitic boycotts by protecting American companies from being roped into international boycotts targeting Israel and other US allies and firmly establishing Congress’ position in opposition to the BDS movement,” said Congressman Zeldin. 

“The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement is fueling anti-Semitism in the United States and around the world. Unfortunately, I do not have confidence that the Biden Administration will stand firm against radical activists who are advancing this dangerous and discriminatory agenda. The United States must remain steadfast in our support for Israel, which is why I introduced this bill. My legislation defends the integrity of the Jewish State and prohibits the Biden Administration from targeting specific goods made in Israel by banning “Made in Israel” country-of-origin labels,” said Congresswoman Tenney, the bill’s lead sponsor.

“Once again, the Biden Administration is trying to change GREAT pro-Israel policies enacted by the Trump Administration. Reversing these current guidelines would only further advance the BDS movement. Israel needs to know that America will not support anti-Semitic policies. I will always stand with Israel, and I am proud to join Reps. Tenney, Mast, Zeldin, and Wilson on this initiative,” said Congressman Jackson.

“The BDS movement exists solely to delegitimize and destroy Israel. Congress cannot stand idly by as our strongest ally is defamed and discriminated against,” said Congressman Mast. “Israel needs to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we stand with them in their fight for freedom and democracy, and that no left-wing corporate activist is going to stand in our way.”

“The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement promotes anti-Semitism and seeks to devalue the significant contributions made by Israel to the international community. This legislation upholds United States’ support for Israel and regional normalization efforts by preventing changes from being made to existing policy requiring products of Israel to be labeled as such. I am grateful to Congresswoman Tenney for her work on this important issue,” said Congressman Wilson.

Background on the Anti-BDS Labeling Act:

  • The Clinton Administration was responsible for altering American policy to require “Made in West Bank” country-of-origin (COO) labels for Israeli goods made in Judea and Samaria, despite the United States treating those goods as “articles of Israel” for trading purposes.
  • The Obama Administration opposed the Israeli government and in 2016 republished the labeling guidelines. 
  • The Trump Administration established new guidelines that required any products made in Judea and Samaria to be labeled as “Made in Israel.”

A Senate companion bill was introduced by Senators Tom Cotton (R, AR), John Boozman (R, AR), Rick Scott (R, FL), Marco Rubio (R, FL), Bill Haggerty (R, TN), Marsha Blackburn (R, TN), Ted Cruz (R, TX) and Thom Tillis (R-NC).