New Jersey sets record for trade with Israel (despite pandemic), it announces

The state of New Jersey said Monday that its level of trade with Israel rose to a record level from 2019 to 2020, reaching the $1.33 billion mark.

Data from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and New Jersey Business Action Center’s Office of Export Promotion showed that trade rose 5%, from $1.27 billion in 2019, to $1.33 billion, despite a reduction in exports that followed national trends as COVID-19 spread around the world.

“The COVID-19 pandemic had a strong influence on the data this past year,” the state said in a news release. “Reduced export numbers from New Jersey ports were the result of the economic reality throughout the U.S. and connected to global conditions. New Jersey exports to Israel were led by materials for the energy industry, electronics and heavy machinery.”

Israeli imports to New Jersey grew 11.5%, versus a nationwide 9% decline, the state added. The year marked the first time since 2014 that imports topped the $1 billion mark in volume.

Globally, New Jersey ranked as Israel’s 29th-highest trade partner, up from 31st in 2019.

“The increase in imports, which brought New Jersey-Israel trade to historic levels, cemented the Garden State as a focal point for innovative Israeli products entering the U.S.,” the state said. “Those imports were led by pharmaceuticals and included a strong emphasis on food products.”

New Jersey remained the second-largest state in the Northeast in terms of attracting Israeli investment, as well. It has garnered $393 million in investment from Israeli companies since 2003.

“Israel has long been an important ally to the United States, and to New Jersey in particular, as we continue to increase our presence in the global marketplace,” Gov. Phil Murphy said in a prepared statement. “The data is clear — the Garden State’s ongoing economic relationship with the ‘Startup Nation,’ as Israel is known, is stronger than ever, and the volume and scope of the imports and exports being traded underscore the value of this partnership.”

Statistics also included data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Foreign Trade Division and fDI Markets, the state said.

Other statements on the data:

  • Secretary of State Tahesha Way: “Our relationship with Israel is truly remarkable, and includes so many different facets I am proud of, including tourism, exports, culture and beyond. This new data shows once again that our economic partnership with Israel continues to drive opportunity and support job creation on both sides of the Atlantic.”
  • Choose New Jersey CEO and President Jose Lozano: “Choose New Jersey has been proud to foster and grow this vital economic partnership over the past several years, as we further expand New Jersey’s innovation economy. We look forward to continuing to strengthen the New Jersey-Israel relationship, cultivate future investment opportunities and deepen our collaboration, as we begin to rebuild and recover from this health and economic crisis.”
  • NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan: “This marks the second consecutive year that trade between the Garden State and Israel has increased following Gov. Murphy’s 2018 trade mission, and we are thrilled to see both economies benefiting as a result of this relationship. Our partnership with Israel is more critical than ever, as we continue to recapture New Jersey’s role as a leader in innovation and attract foreign domestic investment in our state.”