JERUSALEM (Feb. 28)
Israeli sources indicated today that the Council of Ministers of the European Economic Community was not prepared to seek an overall agreement with Israel, when negotiations are resumed between the six-nation bloc and the Jewish State, but would only consider agreements on a specific, limited number of Israel exports.
Israel currently exports some 150 different items to the European Common Market, which absorbs more than 40 percent of Israel’s total exports. Israelis had hoped for an overall agreement permitting them to continue to compete in the Common Market with all these exports. Instead, the EEC Council of Ministers instructed its permanent staff at Brussels to prepare a list of Israeli exports of which at least 50 percent go to the Common Market and are valued at at least $100,000 a year. To be listed also would be exports to the Common Market which constitutes less than 50 percent of Israel’s total, if the value of the export to the Common Market is at least $250,000.
The intention of the Council, apparently, is to offer Israel agreements enabling the continued export of these items to the Common Market, on the level of its present exports to the market countries, so that Israel’s economy should not be unduly affected by the Common Market’s tariff walls. About 20 Israel exports would be included in these lists out of the 150 exports currently going to the Common Market. The lists are to be completed by April 1.
The Council of Ministers, it is believed, will then consider tariff reductions on these items, but on a “most favored nation” basis which would benefit other exporters of the same products.