Turkish Exports to the US Boosted amid European Stagnation
2015-02-05 21:38:57
Image Turkish exports to the U.S. have skyrocketed over the past five years, reaching an astounding $6.3 billion in 2014, a data sheet compiled by the Turkish Statistical Institute revealed last Friday. Turkey's exports to the U.S. increased over 12 percent in 2014, making it the sixth biggest purchaser of Turkish goods last year. The growth is primarily seen as the result of the increasing interest shown by Turkish exporters toward American markets. Experts say that the American market had been growing slowly but steadily, while many European markets continue to decline. Canan Büyükünsal, executive director of a Washington-based business association, the American-Turkish Council, said, "Turkish companies have discovered the U.S. is not such a mysterious and difficult place to do business. If you have patience and the determination to work with the system, and if you produce a quality product, available in sufficient quantities and sold at a fair price, the market is wide open." A report by the Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TİM) on last year's foreign trade shows that Turkey's steel industry saw the biggest increase, selling $1.4 billion worth of goods to Americans, doubling their market share. Machinery and Components sales also jumped 50 percent, reaching $373 million dollars. The biggest losers were oil producers who faced a shocking nearly 80 percent plunge to $20 million, likewise automotive parts and components manufacturers' exports slumped 70 percent to $470 million.

Then prime minister, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and President Barack Obama signed the Framework for Strategic Economic & Commercial Cooperation (FSECC) in 2009 in a bid to increase investment and trade flow between the two countries. Obama said that American-Turkish trade relations should be elevated to the level of cooperation in the field of security, during his visit to Ankara in the same year. The U.S. Commerce Secretary and U.S. Trade Representative have been periodically meeting with their Turkish counterparts since the sealing of the agreement. Trade missions between the two parties are seen as common practices to make sure American and Turkish business communities come together to solve their problems and disagreements with the help of their respective national governments.

However, the U.S. still enjoys a large surplus of more than $6 billion and Turkey needs to do more to reduce the slowly shrinking trade deficit between the two countries. Turkey's imports from the U.S. rose by only 1 percent to $12.7 billion in last year. "Turkey should continue to pursue a Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. concurrent with the U.S. - EU negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). This proposed U.S.-Turkey FTA more than anything else would increase bilateral trade exponentially." Büyükünsal added. (Ragip Soylu, Daily Sabah)
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