South Carolina and Israel
Trade and Population Statistics
|Exports to Israel (2015)
| Percentage Change (2014-2015)
| Total Exports to Israel (1996-Present)
|Israel's Trade Partner Rank (2015)
|Military Contracts with Israel (2012)
|Jewish Population (2014)
| Jewish Percentage of Population
foundation grants shared by South Carolina and Israel
Grant recipients in
South Carolina from U.S.-Israel binational foundations:
Policy Management System
South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Research
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
University of South Carolina
USDA U.S. Vegetable Lab
of Commerce Southeast Division -
based in Atlanta, the Southeast Division
of the AICC was established in 1992 to help Israeli businesses explore
new markets and develop business relationships with companies in Georgia
as well as South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina and
Tennessee. AICC-SD boasts over 450 members today amd has earned the
reputation as one of the most successful and effective bi-national business
organizations in the United States. Since its founding, AICC-SD has
been involved in completed transactions valued at over $700 million,
thereby contributing to the economies of both Israel and the Southeastern
United States. To learn more about the AICC Southeast Division, CLICK
Agreements - "Memoranda of Understanding"
In 1992, Gov. Carroll Campbell, Jr.
signed a Memorandum of Intent to establish a South Carolina-Israel Exchange
to promote trade, investment, agriculture, education and tourism. See
the text of this MOI, CLICK
South Carolina Government Missions to Israel
March 2008 - Senator Lindsey Graham
joined Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and John McCain (R-AZ) on an official
congressional visit to Israel to learn more about regional threats in
the Middle East and ways in which the United States and Israel can collaborate
on responses. While in Israel, the trio of senators met with Israeli
Vice Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni who stressed the
importance of dealing with the rising tide of Islamic extremism. "It
is impossible to achieve peace without dealing with the fundamental
issues of terrorism and extreme Islamism. A change in Gaza is essential,"
said Minister Livni. Read more about this high level meeting, CLICK
July 1999 - South Carolina Attorney
General Charlie Condon joined eight other attorneys general for a trip
to Israel. The participants in the mission went to explore U.S.-Israel
cooperation in legal affairs and discussed issues including youth violence,
the death penalty, and extradition laws.
South Carolina Highlights
Relationship with Israel
On June 2, 2011 the state legislature of South Carolina
unanimously passed a resolution commending the State of Israel for its
relations with America in general and South Carolina, in particular.
Bill H. 4339 celebrates the special friendship between South Carolina
and Israel calling it “cordial and mutually beneficial …
since 1948.” The resolution also soundly emphasizes America’s
steadfast support of Israel naming her “the United States of America’s
greatest friend in the Mideast.” State Representative Alan Clemmons
(R) spoke to Israel National News about the bill. “My hope was
to show the people of Israel that while South Carolina is a small state,
with an even smaller Jewish population, they were not alone in their
struggles,” said Clemmons. Read the text of the bill, CLICK
The U.S.-Israel relationship is based on the twin
pillars of shared values and mutual interests. Given this commonality of
interests and beliefs, it should not be surprising that support for Israel
is one of the most pronounced and consistent foreign policy values of the
It is more difficult to devise programs that capitalize
on the two nations' shared values than their security interests;
nevertheless, such programs do exist. In fact, these SHARED VALUE
INITIATIVES cover a broad range of areas, including the environment,
science and technology, education and health.
As analyst David Pollock noted, Israel is an advanced country with a population that surpassed eight million people in 2013 and a robust, dynamic economy that allowed it to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Between 2005 and 2013, Israel has represented a larger market for U.S. exports than Saudi Arabia. Although Israel's citizenry make up just 3 percent of the total region's population, Israel accounts for 25 percent of American exports in the Middle East.
"It has also been one of the top 20 foreign direct investors in the United States since 2009," Pollock confirms. He adds that "$2.25 billion of the $3 billion in annual U.S. aid to Israel comes back via Israeli purchases of U.S. military equipment - and that is just 5 percent of the total bilateral trade each year."
Today's interdependent global economy requires that
trade policy be developed at the national and state level.
Many states have recognized the opportunity for realizing
significant benefits by seeking to increase trade with Israel. South Carolina is one of 33 states that have cooperative
agreements with Israel.
In 2012, South Carolina exported over $56,202,221 worth
of manufacturing goods to Israel. Since 1996, South Carolina exports to
Israel have totaled more than $608,126,521 and Israel now ranks as South Carolina’s
29th leading trade partner.
Additionally in 2012, South Carolina received more than
$2,443,698 in foreign military financing (FMF) for US military aid
to Israel. Some of those companies that have received funding through FMF in 2012 or past years
are: Zephyr International LLC in Conway, Woven Electronics LLC in Simpsonville and North American Rescue LLC in Greer.
Israel is certainly a place where potential business
and trade partners can be found. It can also be a source, however, for
innovative programs and ideas for addressing problems facing the citizens
of South Carolina.
Israel has developed a number of pioneering education programs. For example, AICE introduced an innovative Israeli
peer tutoring program to North Carolina that educators adapted for use
in the United States. Now known as Reading Together, the program is
used in 28 states. The program is designed to help students achieve
reading fluency and is mostly used for children in second grade. The
hope is that with its implementation, increasing numbers of students
will perform at grade level or above.
A range of other exciting approaches to social problems
like unemployment, environmental protection and drug abuse have been
successfully implemented in Israel and could be imported for the benefit
The potential for greater cooperation with Israel for
the benefit of South Carolina is limited only by the imagination.
Firms Profit From Business With Israel
As the only country with free trade agreements with both
the United States and the European community, Israel can act as a bridge
for international trade between the United States and Europe. Moreover,
because of the deep pool of talent, particularly in high-technology areas,
Israel provides excellent investment opportunities. Some of the nations
largest companies, such as IBM, Microsoft, Motorola, Intel and McDonalds
have found that it is indeed profitable to do business in Israel.
More than 30 South Carolina companies
have discovered the benefits of doing business in Israel,
including AVX Corporation, Uniroyal, Amida Industries,
and Magnecroft Electric Company.
Terex Cranes has had over 30 years of historically
good relations selling construction cranes and lifts to Israel, said
Terexs Government Project Manager Jeff Blacker. Comasco Ltd. is Terexs
distributor and are excellent representatives for us, according to
Blacker. The market in Israel is large for these products and Terex sales
have been around $1 million per year. Blacker said that Comasco has helped
make it easier to do business in Israel than many other countries.
Since about 1993, Amida Industries has been exporting
mobile floodlight towers used by the Israeli army and air force. Their
first experience in Israel was working with the power companies there
and because everything is so integrated between the government,
municipalities and military, and done on a project by project basis,
business grew, said International Sales Coordinator Regina Lark. Amida
has had a local agent based in Israel for about 7 or 8 years. He provides
sales support as well as training classes, technical and manual support,
helps with warranty procedures and anything else needed to be done in
Hebrew. Lark said that having somebody in the country is a big plus.
The process of quoting, designing, working with the engineers, doing
research, dealing with the Israeli Economic Mission in New York and
corresponding with everyone else involved in negotiations takes more than a
year. In addition, the actual manufacturing of the specially designed
product takes 6-8 months. Despite the long procedure, Amida has been
extremely successful in their business interactions with Israel and signed
some very large contracts.
The Israeli Defense Ministry came to Carolina Steel and
Wire Corporation to purchase products used in the aircraft industry. The
company has now been selling aircraft cables to Israel for the past 25
years. John Floyd, Vice President of Sales, said they were attracted to
doing business with Israel because of the opportunity to make money. Most
of Israel's purchases, for example, helicopter wrenches, are made
indirectly through Carolina Steel and Wires suppliers.
Kigre, Inc. has also been exporting to Israel for a long
time. For 15 years, they have sold laser rods, filter tubes and laser
components used for medical lasers. Operations manager Elaine Verret said
Israel is a very good market to be a part of.
Clark-Schwebel Fiber Glass Corporation has been
exporting woven fiber glass fabrics to Israel for the past 10 to 15 years.
These materials are used mostly as replacement parts in the aerospace
industry. Their business cooperation began when Israel came to Clark-Schwebel
and inquired about a quote on a specific product. Greg Reinert of the
customer service department said that banking has been an issue in terms of
establishing credit terms with Israel, but otherwise their business
interactions have been good and easy.
One good way to break into the Israeli market is through
a joint venture with an Israeli company. Funding for such projects is
available from the Binational
Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD). BIRD funds projects in 36 states and the District of
Columbia and hundreds of companies including AOL, GE, BP Solar, Texas
Instruments and Johnson & Johnson have benefitted from BIRD grants.
The United States and Israel established BIRD in 1977
to fund joint U.S.-Israeli teams in the development and subsequent commercialization
of innovative, nondefense technological products from which both the
Israeli and American company can expect to derive benefits commensurate
with the investments and risks. Most grant recipients are small businesses
involved with software, instrumentation, communications, medical devices
Since its inception, BIRD has funded more than 800
joint high-tech R&D projects through conditional grants totaling
more than $210 million. Products developed from these ventures have
generated more than $8 billion in direct and indirect revenues for both
countries and has helped to create an estimated 20,000 American jobs.
Dr. Eli Opper, the former Israeli chair of BIRD, has
said that BIRD is a strong pillar of US-Israel industrial
cooperation and that the extreme success of BIRD has
led Israel to adopt similar models of R&D with other countries.
At least two South Carolina companiesAVX Corporation
and Policy Management Systemshave taken advantage of the opportunity
to reduce the risk of new ventures and tap into the deep pool of Israeli
talent through the BIRD program. Overall, they have
shared grants from BIRD worth more than $75,000.
AVX Corp. has been doing business with Israel for at
least the past eight years or more, said Senior Account Manager Chris
Parks. AVX imports electronic capacitors from Israel. These are components
that go into computers or telephones. Ever since AVX purchased a manufacturing
plant in Israel, South Carolina and Israel have been doing business
together. Despite the long distance, working with Israel is as
easy as working with anybody else, said Parks.
South Carolina researchers are making scientific breakthroughs
and developing cutting-edge technologies in joint projects with Israeli
scientists thanks to support from the Binational
Science Foundation (BSF). BSF was established in 1972 to promote scientific relations
and cooperation between scientists from the United States and Israel.
The fund supports collaborative research projects in a wide area of
basic and applied scientific field for peaceful and non-profit purposes.
Since its inception, BSF has awarded some $480 million
through more than 4,000 grants in 45 states and the District of Columbia.
BSF-sponsored studies are highly successful
in achieving their two main goals: strengthening the US-Israel partnership
through science and promoting world-class scientific research for the
benefit of the two countries and all mankind. The BSF grants help extend research resources to achieve milestones that might
not otherwise be attainable; introduce novel approaches and techniques
to lead American researchers in new directions; confirm, clarify and
intensify research projects; and provide unmatched access to Israeli
equipment, facilities and research results that help speed American
scientific advances. BSF has documented no less than
75 new discoveries made possible by its research grants and counts 37
Nobel Prize and 19 Lasker Medical Award laureates among its joint partners.
Institutions in South Carolina have shared with their
counterparts in Israel nearly $110,000 in BSF grants
awarded since 1996 alone.
While some BSF projects have practical
applications, many involve basic science and are meant only to stimulate
advances in a particular field. This is typically the case of grantees
in mathematics. University of South Carolina mathematics professor Ronald
Devore works in a branch of mathematics that studies constrained approximation.
This is when scientific data is acquired and is to be displayed on a
computer screen while still retaining certain characteristics that the
data should have. For example, if data increases in time and you want
to mimic what occurs in nature, you work with curves and surfaces. Everyday
examples of these are stock market curves. According to Dr. Devore,
this research considers methods for rendering data as curves or
surfaces. The main feature of the project is to retain any inherent
geometrical features of the data such as monotonicity and convexity.
Together with his Tel Aviv University colleague, Dany
Leviatan, Devore has created practical applications for this research such
as creating computer-aided designs for airplanes and automobiles. Devore
said that they visit each other then work separately and exchange
information via email. He said that this is the typical way
mathematicians collaborate. We meet for a week or two during the year.
Devore also collaborates with Eitan Tadmor, also of
Tel Aviv University, as part of a Naval Research Grant. Some of
the best mathematicians are Israelis, said Dr. Devore, so
it is useful for me and hopefully useful for them. Hopefully we will
continue to collaborate over the years.
In 1978 the United States and Israel jointly created
the Binational Agricultural
Research and Development Fund (BARD)
to help fund programs between US and Israeli scientists for mutually
beneficial, mission-oriented, strategic and applied research into agricultural
problems. Since its inception, BARD has funded more
than 1,000 projects in 45 states and the District of Columbia with a
total investment of more than $250 million. In 2000, an independent
and external economic review of 10 BARD projects conservatively
projected more than $700 million in revenue by the end of 2010, a number
which far outweighs the total investment in all BARD projects over its 33 year existence and helps to continually strengthen
Most BARD projects focus on either increasing agricultural
productivity, plant and animal health or food quality and safety and
have been influential in creating new technologies in drip irrigation,
pesticides, fish farming, livestock, poultry, disease control and farm
equipment. BARD funds projects in 45 states and the
District of Columbia and at present is beginning to administer collaborative
efforts between Australia, Canada and Israel as well. It is difficult
to break down the impact on a state-by-state basis, but overall, BARD-sponsored
research has generated sales of more than $500 million, tax revenues
of more than $100 million and created more than 5,000 American jobs.
South Carolina institutions have shared grants worth
more than $1.2 million since 1979.
Studying the rapid multiplication of plants and food
preservatives in bacteria are just two examples of the joint research
projects conducted by South Carolina and Israel scientists under the
auspices of BARD.
For three years Professor Roy Young of Clemson University
worked with the Volcani Center in Israel studying alternative techniques
for micropropagation. Normally, parts of a plant are taken from a mother
plant and when placed in a hormone solution called agre the plant material
multiplies. Rather than using this base to grow the plants, Young used
an alternative liquid sugar base solution to grow the membrane material.
The results of this study have been the rapid multiplication of genetic
plant material that are not only virus free but also exact replicates
of the parent plant. Commercially, this is extremely useful because
of the fast duplication of new virus free plants. Young said of his
experience with his Israel collaborators, We had a super relationship
and still communicate. I had a very positive experience [with the BARD grant collaboration].
Dr. Susan Barefoot, Director of the School of Applied
Science and Agribusiness at Clemson University, is currently working
on her second BARD grant. Both grants involve research
on natural anamicrobials, food preservatives. The first project looked
for the anamicrobials, began to determine their uses and looked at ways
to increase their production so they could be produced in useful quantities.
Often bacteria only produces enough for their own sustenance, but they
cannot be used commercially unless they are produced in great quantities.
The current project is using the anamicrobials to develop ways to move
genes around propiani bacteria, the producer of the anamicrobials, which
are found in acids, vitamins and make the holes in Swiss cheese. Although
not at this stage yet, Dr. Barefoot and her collaborators, Dr. Natan
Gollob of the Volcani Center in Israel and Dr. Bonita Glatz from Iowa
State University, hope to modify the propiani bacteria so they will
better understand their uses. Then it may be possible to prevent food
born illness and increase the shelf life of products, and do both more
It is useful to learn what their needs are in Israel,
said Dr. Barefoot. We have some common needs. Dr. Gollob has a more
molecular expertise. We can compliment each others work that way. We share
data and ideas, which helps each of us to come up with new ideas and maybe
work out some problems were running into.
Other BARD researchers have created
computer models that predict whether the upcoming winters temperature
will affect the bloom of peach trees in South Carolina, Georgia and
Israel, or whether growers should spray them with special growth control
chemicals. By giving advance warning, farmers are able to mobilize in
time to prevent significant loss.
A BARD-sponsored design used for the
processing of potatoes, onions and flower bulbs in packing houses has
been applied to an industrial application used in the separation of
usable from damaged fruit. This new invention helps BARD grantees at Clemson and the Volcani Center automatically sort fresh
peaches by their firmness. Other assembly-line inventions assess other
vital characteristics of fresh fruit.
Once these fruits and vegetables, which are very profitable
in South Carolina, are picked and sorted they often face the problem
of over ripening and decay. During harvest season, overloaded processing
plants need to store fresh apricots and peaches while maintaining their
firmness, fresh taste and attractive appearance. Thanks to BARD grantees, this is now possible. Researchers have found that modified
atmospheres containing 5 percent CO2 and 2 percent oxygen
help preserve color, taste and texture for subsequent canning.
In January 2012, Israel and South Carolina launched
a major joint program called the South
Carolina-Israel Collaboration that will coordinate cooperation between
South Carolina and Israel around these six relevant areas: biomedical,
advanced materials, sustainable systems, transportation, defense/security,
and insurance/health IT. The Collaboration will strengthen existing
SC-Israel business and research relationships, work to create new partnerships,
and raise awareness of this collaboration on both sides. In 2010, exports
from SC to Israel totaled over $68 million, while imports from Israel
to SC totaled $44 million, and Collaboration leaders hope their work
through this major project will help increase these numbers. One example
of SCIC's ideas
for mutual benefit include driving Israeli companies to investors, partners,
and customers in SC and offering support incentives for more companies
to establish roots in the state. Similarly, Israel offers incentives
to SC companies to start operations in Israel which can also serve as
a bridge to the European market. Finally, the Collaboration will build
upon already existing cooperation in the areas of joint venture research
and development and pure research through the binational programs of BIRD, BARD,
None. Please email us with any additions.
Charleston Jewish Federation
1645 Raoul Wallenberg Blvd., P.O. Box 31298
Charleston, SC 29407
Columbia Jewish Federation
4540 Trenholm Rd., P.O. Box 6968
Columbia, SC 29260
Federated Jewish Charities of Greenville
P.O. Box 17615
Greenville, SC 29606