Due to the Arab economic boycott of Israel, Israel has difficulty in joining GATT, or the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. GATT’s aim is to reduce trade barriers and tariffs between countries. Israel joins in 1961, while Arab states and many of their eastern European allies actively continue to embargo Israeli goods. Israel’s proximity to Europe, combined with its hard currency economies, make Israeli trade with Europe essential to the country’s export health. While Israel trades with individual European countries, it is not until June 2000 that the EU-Israel Association Agreement provides the framework for specific economic cooperation.