How the West Bank dispute affects global retail

Most shoppers are familiar with the notion that consumer goods will be labeled with a brief origin statement. It's fairly easy to tell whether a product was made in the U.S., or in China, or in any other country with a substantial manufacturing base.

But what happens when long-running disputes in global politics make their presence felt in the retail sector? An example is that of products made in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

"What happens when long-running disputes in global politics make their presence felt in the retail sector?"

The two Palestinian territories are among the most heavily disputed pieces of land in the world a dispute that comprises a significant portion of the general Arab-Israeli conflict. Previously, the Israeli military occupied both territories, but partially withdrew following the 1993 Oslo Accords. Today, Palestinian governments maintain some control over the land, but Israeli settlers still live in the West Bank and export products from there.

Much controversy stems from these products' labels. Whereas the settlers may label their goods as "Made in Israel," both the European Union and the United States effectively ban the practice, requiring that the labels read "Made in the West Bank." But the U.S. wasn't always so strict on this front. During the Bush Administration, U.S. trade representatives were more willing to accept broader "Made in Israel" labels. However, in recent years the Obama Administration has enforced the difference.

It can sometimes be difficult for global manufacturers to predict the kinds of labels that governments will ask them to produce. But by investing in their own printers for custom labels, firms can take control of their labeling in the face of changing trade requirements. At DuraFast, we carry a wide selection of printers and printing supplies that can help.

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