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Palestine’s Trade with U.S. Will Increase After War, Says Commerce Dept. Report

Palestine’s trade with the United States is expected to increase considerably after the war, according to a survey by the Department of Commerce, released today.

A large surplus of dollars is foreseen for post-war Palestine, chiefly from growth of a flourishing diamond-cutting-and-polishing industry, established during the war, from investments and from individual and institutional contributions, and development of the tourist industry. The study of post-war trade prospects in Palestine, Ezypt and Iraq, was made by Robert Barr, and is printed in the “Foreign Commerce Week.”

The survey points out that there is a tendency toward decreasing importance in the United Kingdom in Palestine’s foreign trade, and increasing importance of the United States. American organizations interested in the continued progress of Palestine, states Barr, are prepared to invest large sums in the future, as they have in the past. Estimated United States institutional remittances to Palestine from 1939 to 1943 averaged 1,853,000 Palestinian pounds annually, and individual remittances (##)7,000 pounds. The equivalent of 2,500,000 pounds in dollars annually will accrue to Palestine, Barr suggests, provided “stable political conditions can be achieved.”

The diamond-cutting-and-polishing industry has assumed an importance in Palestine’s balance of payments coparable with the pre-war citrus industry, according to Barr, Citrus exports, which constituted about 75 percent of the total pre-war merchandise exports, two-thirds going to the United Kingdom, disappeared during the war, and have only recently been resumed on a very limited scale. Exports of polished diamonds, eighty-eight percent of them sent to the United States, comprised forty percent of total merchandise exports in 1943, the study reveals.

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