TUSIAD Delegation Concludes Washington Visit

A TUSIAD delegation led by the President of the Board of Directors Muharrem Yilmaz concluded three days of talks with U.S. officials and opinion leaders in Washington. The TUSIAD delegation had an opportunity to exchange views on U.S. – Turkey economic and political relations and recent developments in Turkey and the region.

The TUSIAD Delegation met Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Catherine Novelli, NSS Acting Senior Director for European Affairs Tara Leweling, and Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Dan Mullaney during the Washington visit, April 28 – 30.

TUSIAD President Muharrem Yilmaz speaking with Congressman Bill Keating
TUSIAD President Muharrem Yilmaz speaking with Congressman Bill Keating

The delegation also had talks with the U.S. House of Representatives Turkey Caucus Co-Chairs Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN); and the ranking member of of the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Bill Keating (D-MA). Keating also serves as the Co-Chair of the House TTIP Caucus.

The President of TUSIAD Muharrem Yilmaz met with the President of BUSINESSEUROPE Emma Marcegaglia who happened to be in Washington for talks with U.S. officials ahead of the fifth round of TTIP negotiations. Yilmaz and Marcegaglia compared notes and discussed progress in TTIP negotiations and Turkey’s position. The European Business community has been supportive of Turkey’s association with TTIP and Marcegaglia reiterated her support during the meeting. TUSIAD is a member of BUSINESSEUROPE.

The visiting TUSIAD delegation also met with officials from the Business Roundtable and discussed ways to improve cooperation between Turkish and American business communities.

On April 28, the Brookings Center on the United States and Europe and the Energy Security Initiative hosted independent energy research analyst Gareth Winrow to discuss his new report, “Realization of Turkey’s Energy Aspirations: Pipe Dreams Or Real Projects?” In the report, Winrow assesses Turkey’s energy policy, exploring the importance of gas for the Turkish economy, prospects for becoming a gas transit and trading hub and the energy dimensions of Turkish-U.S. relations.

TUSIAD President Muharrem Yilmaz delivering opening remarks at the Brookings Institution
TUSIAD President Muharrem Yilmaz delivering opening remarks at the Brookings Institution

President Yılmaz provided introductory remarks and Brookings TUSIAD Senior Fellow Kemal Kirişci moderated the discussion. Following opening remarks, Brookings Senior Fellow Charles Ebinger and Sabancı Energy Group President and TUSIAD Energy Working Group President Selahattin Hakman offered comments. The event is part of the TUSIAD U.S.-Turkey Forum at Brookings, which hosts conferences, seminars and workshops to consider topics of relevance to U.S.-Turkish and transatlantic relations.

The visiting TUSIAD delegation participated in a roundtable discussion with the Council on Foreign Relations where developments in Turkey were discussed. The delegation also met with the President of the Peterson Institute of International Economics Dr. Adam Posen and Senior Fellow Caroline Freund.

TUSIAD President Muharrem Yilmaz and the delegation also met with former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Dr. Ben Bernanke. Yilmaz and Bernanke discussed prospects for the ongoing global economic recovery and other current issues.

The TUSIAD delegation paid a visit to Turkey’s Ambassador to the United States Serdar Kilic and met with Washington Post columnist David Ignatius.