Trump`s move had shaken the Turkish pound. Since then, relations between the two countries have been strained over differences ranging from Ankara`s plan to buy a Russian missile system to divergent interests in Syria. “Trade relations have been negatively affected by U.S. taxes on Turkey`s steel exports and other trade barriers due to political disagreements, which has led to mistrust between the two countries,” Vergil said. “Over the next 18 years, Turkey`s industrial and technological base expanded considerably. As a result, several sectors of the Turkish economy could now benefit from a bilateral trade agreement with the United States,” said Matthew Bryza, a former senior U.S. diplomat who was also assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia. Ankara, Washington and Brussels have several compelling reasons to promote an FREI trade agreement. First, of course, the economic factor.
The United States and Europe are still in recession and Turkey`s domestic growth is slowing despite the positive indicators mentioned above. As a result, the GDP growth rate rose from 9.2% in 2010, 8.5% in 2011, to a much more modest rate of 3% in 2012. A TURUS free trade agreement would open up new markets and stimulate direct and indirect growth in Turkey, the United States and the EU. In particular, the need to remove trade barriers for Turkish and American companies would facilitate the export of their products and services and make them cheaper, thereby increasing trade and investment. Although a bilateral investment agreement (1990) and the Framework Agreement on Trade and Investment (1999) set the basic conditions for the inflow of foreign direct investment between the two countries, changing times require a revaluation of relations. The solution is a comprehensive, quality free trade agreement that would take trade and economic relations to a new level. Despite political conflicts, the two countries retain strong trade potential, particularly in the context of the U.S.-China trade war, where Washington is seeking new partners to prevent the expansion of China`s global economy. Ata Akiner, a former research intern with the Washington Institute`s Turkish Research Program, is a trade policy analyst at Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt and Mosle LLP.