Turkish president seeks $100bn trade deal with U.S.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday called for U.S. investment in Turkey, stressing that Ankara expects to reach a $100-billion-trade target with the United States.

“We want more U.S. companies to invest in our country. We are ready to provide every necessary support to the U.S. investors,’’ Erdogan said at a press conference with U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross. The Turkish president said he discussed about starting negotiations on a free trade agreement with U.S. President Donald Trump and ministers of the two countries will start working on it soon.

“The $20 billion trade volume between Turkey and the U.S. is below our true potential. We have agreed to upgrade our trade volume to $100 billion with President Trump in our last meeting, in Osaka. We have begun to take concrete steps regarding this,’’ he stated. The U.S. trade official also met with his Turkish counterpart, Ruhsar Pekcan, earlier as part of his five-day visit to Turkey.

Recalling the target of reaching $100-billion-trade, Ross said that “we anticipate it to consist of $50 billion more from the U.S. side to Turkey and $50 billion more from the Turkish side to the U.S.’’

Pekcan said the two sides prioritised various sectors such as textile, furniture, marble, automotive, civil aviation, cement and chemicals to increase bilateral trade volume. She noted that their discussions also focused on the issues faced by important sectors, particularly the steel sector in Turkey. The two countries decided to set up sectoral committees under the chairmanship of the two countries’ trade ministries, Pekcan added.

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