Turkey and the U.S. should improve their economic partnership as well as their strategic one, Turkey's Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci has said after talks with U.S. delegates in the Turkish capital.
Referring to the envisaged Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the U.S. and EU, Zeybekci said in a press conference after meeting U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker on Friday that the economic alliance between the U.S. and Turkey lagged behind their strategic pacts, such as their NATO alliance.
The talks in Ankara followed criticism from Turkish officials who argue the TTIP between the EU and U.S. effectively open Turkey’s markets to imports, but block it from the tax advantages associated with exporting goods to the same states.
Zeybekci said: “If Turkey doesn’t become a member of the free-trade agreement between the U.S. and EU, nor or conclude a simultaneous free-trade agreement with the U.S., it would be impossible for Turkey to maintain its custom union agreement with the EU.”
He said that any meaningful partnership established between the U.S. and Turkey should be based on economic partnership first.
Turkish officials argue Turkey is not a party to the deals between the U.S. and EU block and the countries involved were unwilling to make similar agreements with Turkey.
Touching upon the anti-dumping applications implemented in both countries, Zeybekci said Turkey based all trade measures on the principle of reciprocity.
He noted that anti-dumping taxes imposed on Turkish steel bar producers by the U.S. trade department did not reflect the goodwill between the two countries and such moves would force Turkey to take countermeasures, even if it did not want to.