Turkey seeks to form working group for U.S. free trade deal
By: Emre Peker / The Wall Street Journal Turkey’s prime minister will seek to form a working group to draft a free-trade agreement with the U.S. during a state visit in May, marking an effort to counter an increasingly onerous customs deal with the European Union, Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan said Tuesday. The push by Recep Tayyip Erdogan comes amid discussions to revise or annul the country’s 1996 customs union with the EU, widely seen as a precursor to Turkey’s entry to the bloc. Turkey’s accession talks finally started in 2005, but have been frozen for almost three years amid political disagreements and the region’s debt crisis.
Don't forget free trade with Turkey
By: Kemal Kirisci / The National Interest Last month, both the U.S. and the European Union (EU) took important internal steps to prepare the ground work for negotiations to establish the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. TTIP would create the largest integrated market in the world, bringing together half of the world’s GDP and 30 percent of world trade. If it went beyond eliminating already low-level tariffs and succeeded in aligning regulatory standards on both sides of the Atlantic, it also could generate more than 3 percent GDP growth. Beyond bilateral effects, TTIP could also spill over to global-trading trends and serve as a tool for strengthening the Western economic order. But in its current form TTIP would leave Turkey, currently the sixteenth-largest economy in the world, and a long-standing transatlantic ally, out in the cold.