Ambassador Kirk and Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke today inaugurated a new process of engagement with the government of Turkey on economic and trade issues. The new policy structure, to be known formally as the "Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation" (Framework) was unveiled on the occasion of the visit of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the White House.
During a joint press conference with their new Turkish counterpart, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, Ambassador Kirk and Secretary Locke, who will co-chair U.S. participation in the Framework process, stated that the Framework aims to help enhance the already robust interaction that takes place between the two governments on economic issues. U.S. Government agencies currently work with Turkish counterparts in the economic arena through the bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, the Economic Partnership Commission and the Energy Working Group, as well as through numerous ongoing contacts between officials at all levels. The new Framework will ensure regular coordination and review of these many activities at a senior political level.
Turkey is the United States' 39th largest goods trading partner, and bilateral trade has been steadily growing over the last 15 years. U.S.-Turkey two way goods trade totaled $14.6 billion during 2008. U.S. exports of goods to Turkey in 2008 were $10 billion, an increase of 51.1% ($3.4 billion) over 2007, and 262% from 1994. Goods imports from Turkey into the United States were $4.6 billion in 2008, up 0.9% ($41 million) from 2007, and 195% from 1994. The stock of U.S. foreign direct investment in Turkey was $6.1 billion in 2008. The stock of Turkish foreign direct investment in the United States was $218 million in 2007 (latest data available).