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Arab Blockade of Israeli Shipping Found Detrimental to U.S. Industry

“Parallel to the increase in trade between the U. S. and Israel, shipping services between the two countries have constantly developed and now embrace the East Coast and Southern ports of the U.S., Gottlieb Hammer, president of the American-Israeli Shipping Company, declared today at a luncheon of the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce at the Hotel Commodore.

“But the farming areas and industries along the Pacific coast range of the U.S. are deprived of profitable direct trade with Israel because the blocking of the Suez Canal by Egypt to Israeli shipping prevents the extension of Israel’s maritime services to South East Asia and across the Pacific, “Mr. Hammer added, pointing out that American vessels bound for Israel were also unable to use the Suez Canal.

Reporting that U.S. Israel trade totalled close to $100,000,000 in 1955 and that more goods could be exchanged but for such transportation problems, the speaker also described Israel’s growing foreign trade in general and the large potentials existing for Israel’s trade in general and the large potentials existing for Israel’s trade with East Africa, India, Burma, Indonesia and other Far Eastern countries-a trade that depends on shipping services that could be made part of Israeli and American lines across the Pacific. “But the paradox is,” said Mr. Hammer, “that while the U. S. is spending billions in foreign aid in an attempt to better the economic lot of free people all over the world, Arab unreasonableness and intransigence block the development of trade and the free exchange of goods by putting obstacles to shipping.”