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TÜSİAD Delegation Concludes Washington Visit

The Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) Board of Directors held talks on U.S. – Turkey relations in Washington, D.C. on April 12 -14. The delegation was led by President of the Board of Directors Cansen Başaran-Symes.

The TÜSİAD delegation met with U.S. Department of State Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment, Catherine Novelli. The delegation also met with Charles Kupchan, Senior Director for European Affairs, and other high level National Security Council staff. In their meetings the delegation highlighted the importance and necessity of high level dialogue between Turkey and the U.S. TÜSİAD President Cansen Başaran-Symes emphasized that U.S. –Turkey relations are not solely based on common interests but also on shared values.

The TÜSİAD delegation met with U.S. Department of Commerce Under Secretary for International Trade Stefan Selig and Chief U.S. Negotiator for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and Assistant United States Trade Representative for Europe and the Middle East, Dan Mullaney. During these meetings, both sides discussed current expectations and suggestions to increase trade and investment between the U.S. and Turkey. TÜSİAD President Cansen Başaran-Symes reiterated that although the U.S. and Europe are still negotiating TTIP, the agreement needs to have an open architecture and that Turkey must be included in TTIP.

The TÜSİAD delegation also met with Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Chairman of the Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats Subcommittee of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The Congressman and the delegation discussed prospects for improving U.S. –Turkey relations.

In addition, TÜSİAD President Cansen Başaran-Symes delivered opening remarks at a Brookings conference on “Turkey, its neighborhood, and the international order.” She emphasized the critical importance of Turkey’s transatlantic values for the medium-term regional and global outlook. The delegation also met with Fred Kempe, President of the Atlantic Council, members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), representatives from other think tanks, and foreign policy thought leaders to discuss bilateral relations.

The TÜSİAD delegation also held meetings at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). NAM President Jay Timmons and the delegation discussed potential opportunities for future collaboration and questions of international trade important to the Turkish and American business communities. The delegation also met with members of the Executive Committee of the American-Turkish Council (ATC) and members of the U.S. – Turkey Business Council of the U.S.-Turkey Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation (FSECC).  Topics of discussion included improving U.S. –Turkey economic ties, issues with foreign investment in both Turkey and the U.S., the investment climate, and TTIP.

The delegation was led by President Cansen Başaran-Symes and included Vice President of the Board of Directors Ali Y. Koç, Board Member Simone Kaslowski, General Secretary Zafer A. Yavan, USA Network President Ata Köseoğlu, and TÜSİAD Washington Representative Barış Ornarlı.