‘Turkey may suspend customs deal with EU’
Deniz Zeyrek OSLO
'If U.S. goods enter the Turkish market with zero customs, we may lose 3-4 percent of our GDP,' Turkey's EU Minister Volkan Bozkır has said.. AFP PhotoTurkey is planning to suspend its Customs Union deal with the EU if the planned Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) does not include an article emphasizing the deal to be applicable for all Customs Union members, Turkish European Union Minister Volkan Bozkır has said.
“The planned trade deal between the U.S. and EU may cost $3 billion to Turkey. We cannot give the advantages of the Customs Union deal to all countries with which the EU signs such agreements, even if there is not any legal framework,” he said during his two-day Oslo visit.
“Norway also made a special economic deal with the EU even though it is not a member. The planned TTIP will also have a negative impact on Norway,” he said.
‘We just want one additional article’
“When Turkey made the deal with the EU in 1995, no article was put saying the agreements that the EU signs with other countries will not be applicable for Turkey. Such countries, therefore, export to Turkey with zero customs, as they have a free trade deal with the EU, but not with Turkey. If Turkey signs a free trade deal with those countries, it loses too much,” Bozkır added.
The planned trade deal between the U.S. and the EU will create massive losses for Turkey, he also said.
“We just want them to put an article in the deal, saying it ‘will be applicable for all Customs Union members automatically.’ Our trade volume with the EU has exceeded 150 billion euros. This really matters for us,” he said.
New stage in customs deal
Bozkır noted that the Customs Deal was now brought to a new stage in accordance with the latest World Bank reports so as to cover services, agricultural and public sectors.
“However, Turkey may need to suspend the deal if Turkey is not protected,” he noted.
“It is not possible for Turkey to open its market to the U.S. with zero customs. If U.S. goods enter the Turkish market with zero customs, we may lose 3-4 percent of our GDP, amounting to some $2.5-3 billion of trade loss ... We have been bound to the Customs Deal for years, so the EU should show the same sensitivity to our interests as we have done [to theirs],” Bozkır said.
“We need to reach an agreement in technical matters. Even if we do not suspend our Customs Union deal, we may not apply the deal’s advantages to the countries with which the European Union has a separate trade agreement,” Minister Bozkır added.