The US Department of Commerce has imposed a civil penalty on an American firm for violating legal restrictions against complying with the Arab boycott of Israel.
The firm, Cooper Tools Industrial Ltd. - a wholly-owned Brazilian subsidiary of Delaware-based Cooper US, Inc. - was ordered to pay $27,000 in fines last week after company officials allegedly "furnished 15 items of prohibited information about business relationships with Israel to persons in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates," a Department of Commerce statement said.
US law bars firms from providing information for the purpose of compliance with boycott-related requests. Arab states that enforce the boycott frequently ask companies to certify that their products were not manufactured in Israel and do not contain Israeli-made components. In addition, companies are often asked to attest that they do not do business with the Jewish state.
The penalty was imposed on Cooper Tools after the company consented to settle charges made against it by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), whose Office of Anti-boycott Compliance oversees enforcement of US anti-boycott regulations.
"The Department of Commerce stands firm in its policy of opposing restrictive trade practices or boycotts against Israel, and will vigorously pursue those who violate the anti-boycott regulations," said Assistant US Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement Darryl W. Jackson.
The company was reported to have voluntarily disclosed the transactions to federal officials and was said to have cooperated fully with the subsequent investigation.