Ankara, Washington on road to establish a free trade agreement
US Vice President Biden says the US and Turkey set to work on an FTA. AA photoTurkey and the US appear to take fairly solid steps on the road to establish a free trade agreement. “Turkish PM Erdoğan and US President Obama agreed to begin efforts for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the US and Turkey,” US Vice President Joe Biden said on May 16 during Erdoğan’s visit to Washington.
The European Union and US have already agreed to establish the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) as Turkey has been increasingly pushing to get involved in the talks. The Customs Union agreement that was signed in 1996 between the EU and Turkey is the reason behind Ankara’s urging, as the union deal enables third parties that the EU has lifted trade barriers with to enjoy free trade with Turkey as well, but leaves the choice of providing the same condition for Turkey to their own initiative. Turkey has been pushing the conditions through two branches: it is seeking either a separate and parallel free trade agreement with the U.S., or is calling on the EU to reconsider the terms of the deal.
Biden announced that Erdoğan and Obama agreed to work toward a FTA, and said, “We will not only keep Turkey informed of every step of the negotiation with the EU, but we believe that if in fact, we can get by some of the divisions and the differences we have with regard to free trade agreements, that if we can get there before the time we settle the EU new trade agreement, that it will be a great opportunity for Turkey.” Meanwhile a committee will be dealing with the economic issues regarding both parties.