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ECONOMICS > Turkish PM sends letter to Obama on EU deal

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Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Çağlatan (R) and Baden-Württemberg Deputy Premier and Economy minister Nils Schmid. AA photo

Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Çağlatan (R) and Baden-Württemberg Deputy Premier and Economy minister Nils Schmid. AA photo

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has sent a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama so that Washington would continue talks with Turkey for a free trade agreement simultaneously with the EU, Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan said yesterday.

“If the status quo continues, we may have to put the Customs Union [with the EU] on hold as the Customs Union is now working against Turkey,” Çağlayan said.

However , Turkey has asked Germany to aid it in joining a prospective U.S.-EU free trade agreement (FTA) so that Ankara is not left out in the cold in terms of international trade, Cağlayan told reporters while meeting with Nils Schmid, the deputy premier and economy and finance minister of Baden-Württemberg.

“Difficulties arising from visas, quotas placed on the free movement of Turkish products, and the fact that Turkey cannot sign free trade agreements with countries who already have FTAs with the EU all cause unfair competition for Turkey,” Çağlayan said.

The U.S. and EU launched moves on Feb. 13 to open negotiations on a new free trade pact, which would result in free trade between the two entities, in order to eliminate or minimize barriers everywhere.

The FTA between the EU and third parties enable these other countries’ goods to enter European markets or Turkish markets via Europe with zero duties, but the decision to provide the same privileges to Turkey is up to the discretion of the third party.

March/26/2013

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Brit in Turkey

3/27/2013 6:11:21 PM

Faruk: Isn't the "purchase tax" 135% on cars over 2 litres? I paid 84%, but that was back in 2006.

Faruk Beisser

3/26/2013 9:05:00 AM

Customs Union??? So why is Ankara still imposing an import fee (not customs duty) of 70% of the value of the goods before taxes?

Eric Martin

3/26/2013 7:40:09 AM

What a bad deal. Definitely needs renegotiating. U.S. exports to Turkey in 2011 were $14.6 billion. Why do we have no 'free trade agreement' with the USA? This partially explains. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/no-us-turkey-free-trade-zone-deal-in-the-pipeline.aspx?pageID=238&nID=8422&NewsCatID=344
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