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United States and Turkey Work to Strengthen Ties, Expand Trade and Investment Relationship at TIFA Meeting

07/15/2011

Ankara, Turkey – This week, Assistant United States Trade Representative for Europe and the Middle East L. Daniel Mullaney and Turkish Deputy Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy Cemalettin Damlaci co-chaired the eighth annual meeting of the U.S.-Turkey Trade and Investment Council. The Council meets under the auspices of the 1999 bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).

“The United States greatly values its economic relationship with Turkey, which is a key strategic partner in this region of the world,” said Mullaney. “These annual meetings allow us to work together to overcome obstacles to increased trade and investment and to pursue actions to improve economic integration. We are working hard to fulfill President Obama’s commitment to enhance our bilateral trade and investment ties and to seek out new ways to pursue with Turkey our mutual goals in the Middle East and North Africa.”

During the Council meeting, held on July 13 in Ankara, Turkey, the United States and Turkey pursued various mechanisms for expanding their growing trade and investment relationship, including joint support for small and medium sized exporters, regulatory and intellectual property support for innovative industries, shared priorities in third countries, and deepened ties between the U.S. and Turkish private sectors. They also agreed to a fall inaugural meeting of the U.S.-Turkey Business Council, an important mechanism for ensuring private sector input into increasing trade and investment.

The TIFA Council is also a key step in preparations for the second formal meeting, envisioned for later this year, of the U.S.-Turkey Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation (FSECC) dialogue. The FSECC was inaugurated in December 2009 by U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke with their Turkish co-chairs, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan and Minister for Economy Zafer Caglayan.

Mullaney was accompanied by Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Europe and Eurasia Juan Verde and other officials from the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the Departments of Commerce, Agriculture and State. At the meeting, senior government officials discussed a full range of trade-related issues, including intellectual property rights, steps to enhance the investment climate, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and government procurement.

BACKGROUND

Two-way trade (exports plus imports) between the United States and Turkey was valued at $14.8 billion during 2010, representing the U.S.’s 35th largest goods trading relationship. While U.S.-Turkish trade was sharply impacted by the economic downturn in 2009, U.S. exports to Turkey increased by 51.5% to $4 billion in 2010. U.S. imports from Turkey in 2010 were $4.2 billion, up 14.8%.. Leading U.S. exports to Turkey include aircraft, iron, steel, machinery and fabric, in addition to a wide range of agricultural products. Turkey predominantly exports vehicles, machinery, cement, and tobacco to the United States.

U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Turkey amounted to $6.3 billion in 2009, mostly concentrated in the wholesale trade and manufacturing sectors, while Turkish FDI in the United States was $218 million in 2007 (latest figures available).