A close ally of President Donald Trump and his biggest economic rival are looking at a possible trade relationship in 2020. Israel is another U.S. ally that’s now looking to conclude a free-trade agreement with China as early as next year.
A senior Israeli official anonymously tipped off Bloomberg because the discussions aren’t public. The two countries first began talking back in 2016. The latest round of discussions is causing other countries to closely scrutinize the potential cooperation between a U.S. ally and adversary. The U.S. is pressuring Israel to be cautious when talking about China playing a role in its economy.
From a trade perspective, it’s a balancing act for Israel, who faces a “more assertive China” as the United States takes a different military posture in the Middle East. Israeli and Chinese officials met about a month ago for their seventh round of talks. The official who spoke with Bloomberg says it’s still not yet a sure thing that Israel will be able to wrap up a deal next year. A political deadlock is preventing the establishment of a new government in Jerusalem.