OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) led a bipartisan letter to President Joe Biden outlining the success of the Abraham Accords and urging its expansion through trade policy. Lankford was joined by Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Ted Budd (R-NC), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Steve Daines (R-MT), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Dan Sullivan (R-AK).
This letter was sent ahead of the upcoming release of the Administration’s 2023 trade policy agenda and follows a bipartisan delegation visit Lankford and Rosen, who are co-founders and co-chairs of the Senate Abraham Accords Caucus, led with several of their Senate colleagues to the Abraham Accords countries.
On the heels of the Senators’ trip, the Department of Homeland Security announced the expansion of the Abraham Accords to cybersecurity.
Read the full letter here or below.
Dear President Biden,
Thank you for your commitment to building on the success of the Abraham Accords by promoting Arab-Israeli normalization. As members of the bipartisan Senate Abraham Accords Caucus, we stand ready to work collaboratively with your Administration to leverage our existing alliances and partnerships in the Middle East to enhance regional security and catalyze economic growth in furtherance of American interests.
The Abraham Accords are transforming the region and opening new opportunities to promote peace and prosperity alongside Israel and other regional allies. We were pleased to see your National Security Strategy acknowledge the importance of these normalization agreements and stress the need to “combine diplomacy, economic aid, and security assistance to … extend and deepen Israel’s growing ties to its neighbors and other Arab states, including through the Abraham Accords.” Additionally, we welcome the announcement from the Department of Homeland Security earlier this month to establish a multilateral cybersecurity partnership among the Abraham Accords nations.
Trade policy is a critical tool at your disposal to advance the objectives of the National Security Strategy, including your goal of strengthening ties between Israel and Arab states through the Abraham Accords. As you know, the United States has an extensive history of negotiating trade agreements with allies and partners in the Middle East, including active Free Trade Agreements and other investment frameworks with nations that have played vital roles in regional peace and security such as Israel, Bahrain, Jordan, Morocco, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates. These agreements have been meaningful instruments of U.S. economic influence in the region and provided pathways for economic integration that benefits U.S. companies and consumers, including through strengthening domestic job creation by developing and maintaining strategic markets for American-made exports.
In anticipation of the forthcoming submission of your 2023 Trade Policy Agenda later this year, we respectfully request that your Agenda include a comprehensive strategy to leverage U.S. trade policy to strengthen and expand the Abraham Accords. As you know, this Agenda is required to be submitted to Congress no later than March 1, in conjunction with USTR’s annual budget request. Federal law also requires you to consult with relevant congressional committees with respect to the Agenda prior to its submission. We ask that you use this Agenda as an opportunity to outline an ambitious vision to leverage trade as a tool to strengthen and expand the Abraham Accords by utilizing our existing trade agreements in the region, as well as new economic opportunities made possible by the Negev Forum and other initiatives related to Arab-Israeli normalization.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to working with you in the days ahead to identify ways to strengthen and expand the Abraham Accords across all federal agencies.