Mississippi governor and Israeli ambassador push trade

Associated Press

Ronald Dermer, Phil BryantJACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Leaders of Israel and Mississippi say they want to increase what is now a tiny trade between the Magnolia State and Middle Eastern nation, building an economic relationship on top of political ties.

Gov. Phil Bryant and Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer hosted a trade meeting Tuesday in Jackson. Dermer says Mississippi can benefit from Israel’s technological innovation, while Bryant says he wants Mississippi to enhance its economy by trading with an ally.

Bryant visited Israel last year, meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and plans to lead another trade delegation this year. The governor signed a bill requested by Netanyahu and passed by Mississippi lawmakers meant to curtail investment in Iran’s energy industry.

Mississippi exported $11.4 billion in goods and services in 2014, but only $33 million to Israel.