Joint group to work on Turkey-US trade

Joint group to work on Turkey-US trade

WASHINGTON - Anadolu Agency
Joint group to work on Turkey-US trade

Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan (R) speaks with US Trade Reprepresentative Michael Froman during his Washington visit yesterday. AA photo

Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan has said Turkey and the United States have agreed on the creation of a High Level Business Committee that would work on a Turkey-U.S. free trade formula that wouldn’t exclude Turkey from the EU-U.S. alliance, during his visit to Washington.

Çağlayan stated yesterday that they had held the first meeting for the committee with the U.S. Minister of Trade, Penny Pritzker, and they had officially agreed to establish it. “Today is a historical day for Turkey-U.S. trade,” he said, noting that infrastructure works for a free trade deal between the two countries would begin and assessment and impact analysis would be formed.

He recalled that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the U.S. President Barack Obama touched upon the creation of the business committee during his visit to the U.S. in May.

Çağlayan stated that during his meeting with Pritzker, he said that the U.S. trade measures against Turkish products, three anti-dumping and two compensatory taxes, were the main reasons for the trade gap between the two countries.

The minister said the technical teams’ work would accelerate the process of the Turkey-U.S. free trade deal, which was a formula for avoiding Turkey being excluded from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) signed between the European Union and the U.S. that began negotiations in July.

Turkey has been requesting its involvement in the process.

The free trade deals between the EU and third parties have enabled these other countries’ goods to enter Turkish markets via Europe with zero duties, yet the decision to provide the same privileges to Turkey is up to the third party.

A transatlantic free deal trade currently being negotiated between the EU and the United States could cause the Turkish economy to lose $20 billion if Turkey is left out of a final agreement, an analysis prepared by the Brookings Institute and the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) showed.

Turkey has exported around $5.6 billion worth of goods to the U.S. while importing $14 billion in 2012 over the last two years, according to official figures.