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Future Turkey-U.S. relations lies in the future Turkey-EU relations

By: Elif Senvardarli

The below article was originally published in theUSA in Detailspublication of Dünya newspaper.

The future of

Turkey lies in the European Union, and therefore the future of U.S.-Turkey relations lies within this context, in the broader transatlantic relations. As the U.S. representative office of Turkish Industry & Business Association (TUSIAD), in keeping with our mission of the improvement of economic relations between the U.S. and Turkey, our goal is to help solidify this commitment with concrete policies. In this end, we support the inclusion of Turkey to the process of U.S.-EU Economic Agreement. By including Turkey in this framework, Turkey can become a transatlantic partner of the U.S. along with the EU, instead of a bilateral partner of the EU or the U.S.  

The U.S. has time and again expressed its support for Turkey’s accession to the EU. Turkey has already been linked irreversibly to the transatlantic trade due to its customs union with the EU. The inclusion of Turkey within this transatlantic economic partnership initiative would further institutionalize the U.S. support for Turkey’s EU membership beyond political rhetoric, eliminate the need for a separate U.S.-Turkey negotiation process which must take place by default as per Turkey’s customs union with the EU, and, beyond the legal framework, create value-added for the business communities of all sides. Needless to say, Turkey’s economic dynamism, strategic weight and regional influence within the EU economic area would help further U.S. geostrategic and economic interests in the region.

TUSIAD, as the representation of the Turkish business community in B20, the business counterpart of G20, is working closely with U.S. and EU counterparts in order to solidify Turkey’s economic partnership within the West. To this end, TUSIAD signed a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in November 2011 and published a joint research project in March 2012 to review U.S.-Turkey economic relations and explore further areas of cooperation for a stronger strategic partnership. *

In this report, we have identified several areas of focus in addition to the above-mentioned broad strategic goals. We have recommended that governments create a new bilateral legal framework to enhance trade, encourage investment, increase business dialogue and cooperation, and develop common positions in the G20. We work with our partners in both Turkey and the U.S. to encourage both governments to better coordinate their export promotion strategies and encourage business communities of both to take serious steps to invest in more diverse sectors of their economies. Finally, we see great potential in the use of both countries as bridges to access third markets, specifically through joint ventures.

We will continue to develop these themes further to create a better bilateral business environment. However, in order for these recommendations to achieve their full potential, the U.S. must embrace Turkey economically as a European partner with the consent of the EU. Such an arrangement would catapult multilateral relations to a more stable future, both economically and politically, for the benefit of all parties involved.

*You may view the full report here