Capitol Hill may put trade limits on Turkey

Capitol Hill may put trade limits on Turkey

Capitol Hill may put trade limits on Turkey

AFP Photo

The U.S. Congress may add several limitations to trading with Turkey in the trade notes it will present to the White House in the coming weeks, according to sources in Washington.

Turkish-American associations have called for support from Turkish companies in the U.S. and other members of the Turkish-American community in their lobbying activities in Washington.

The U.S. administration needs to have an authorization act from Congress to be able to proceed in the negotiations with the European Union and Pacific countries to launch free trade agreements with them. However, there may be several limitations in the act regarding trade with Turkey.

“We need the support from all members of the Turkish-American community in the U.S., mainly from Turkish companies in the country, for our lobbying activities in Washington," said Lincoln McCurdy, the head of the Turkish Coalition of America, one of the most effective associations that act on behalf of Turkey in Washington.

One of the hottest topics for the 114th Congress is expected to be the “Trade Promotion Authority” (TPA), which is set to be given to the White House. The issue is particularly urgent because Washington is now maintaining negotiations for two huge trade deals, one with the EU and another with the Pacific region. The Trans-Pacific Partnership deal covers 12 countries, from Japan to Chile, comprising some 40 percent of the world economy. Another is the planned Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal between the U.S. and EU. The White House particularly needs authorization from Congress for the Pacific deal, which is expected to be finalized sooner than the TTIP.

The TPAs, which are known as “fast tracks,” have been given to the White House by Congress since 1975.

The TPA is expected to give the U.S. administration the authority to make negotiations for all trade deal conditions upon the basic principles in the TPA by not needing more approval from Congress.

Turkey, a member of the Customs Union but not an EU member, has long said it wants to participate in the TTIP negotiations.

However, McCurdy suggested that although the fast track talks are being closely followed, more attention is needed.