Business forum addresses Turkish, US presidents in open letter ahead of NATO Summit
Turkey-U.S. Business Council (TAİK) has sent an open letter to Turkish and the United States presidents ahead of the NATO Summit in Brussels on July 11.
The letter cited ongoing challenges in bilateral relations between Turkey and the U.S., before voicing TAİK's belief in resolving differences though dialogue, consultation and goodwill.
"It is TAIK’s view that both sides should focus on revitalizing trade and investment relations, which have been and can continue to be of mutual benefit," the letter said.
Here is the full text of the letter:
"An Open Letter to The Presidents of Two Long-Standing Allies
During the upcoming NATO Summit in Brussels, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the Republic of Turkey, and Donald J. Trump, President of the United States, will meet in what will be an historic opportunity to reboot constructive relations between our two allied countries.
Turkey and the U.S. are longtime strategic partners, having undertaken extensive cooperation on wide-ranging issues and having a long history of military partnership. The Brussels summit will confirm Turkey's commitment to the NATO Alliance - to which Turkey is a top financial and troop contributor.
Yet, recent issues have added undesired strains to this important relationship.
It is difficult for Turkish public opinion to understand why the US Congress is threatening with blocking the sales of F-35 fighter planes, a project where Turkey is a production partner.
The Turkish public is also concerned about what they perceive as the unwillingness of the American authorities in resolving the long-standing Turkish demand to extradite Fethullah Gülen.
Equally, American leaders find it difficult to explain to their public the detention of an American citizen in Turkey.
In addition, we believe that the U.S. decision to target allies with steel and aluminum tariffs is unwarranted, counterproductive and will have negative implications on broader bilateral relations with value-added trading partners, including Turkey.
Turkish steel and aluminum create American jobs and directly boost U.S. industry. The U.S. runs a consistent trade surplus with Turkey, totaling to around $50 billion in the last decade, and none of the U.S.’ stated criteria for imposing the tariffs are applicable to Turkey. The facts make it clear that imposing tariffs on Turkish companies does not align with the Trump administration’s global economic vision.
Turkey expects to be given an exemption from the global metal tariffs to which it is currently being subjected. Until that happens, Turkey has made clear that it is prepared to continue enforcing the additional custom duties of $266.5 million on $1.8 billion worth of U.S. goods that it imposes in response.
Still, TAIK believes that bilateral ties between Turkey and the U.S. remain robust and resilient.
It is TAIK’s view that both sides should focus on revitalizing trade and investment relations, which have been and can continue to be of mutual benefit. The Government of Turkey has stated on various occasions its readiness to start negotiating a preferential trade agreement. The Turkish business community — particularly those with investments in the U.S. — wholeheartedly support this vision. We have seen what both sides stand to gain from a growing economic partnership – for example, Turkish Airlines recently signed an agreement with Boeing to purchase $10 billion worth of aircraft, creating 25,000 American jobs.
We believe that Turkey and the U.S. can resolve differences though dialogue, consultation and goodwill.
We are optimistic that President Erdoğan and President Trump will seize this opportunity to make the future of our bilateral relations Great Again.
Mehmet Ali Yalçındağ
Turkey-U.S. Business Council (TAİK)"