WASHINGTON — The United States and Israel signed an agreement Monday to abolish all tariffs and most other trade barriers between the two nations by 1995, the first such U.S. agreement with any nation.
The document, the product of 13 months of intense negotiations, was signed by U.S. Trade Representative William E. Brock and Ariel Sharon, Israel's minister of industry and commerce. Israel's parliament, the Knesset, approved the agreement Monday, and U.S. congressional approval seems assured.
In a statement, President Reagan praised the agreement as "an important milestone in our efforts to liberalize trade," adding that the United States has "pledged to continue to help Israel achieve its great potential."
Tariffs are to be lifted immediately on 52.5% of U.S. exports to Israel and on 80% of Israeli exports to the United States, then gradually removed for most remaining goods until all are gone by the Jan. 1, 1995, deadline.