Ata Akiner, a former research intern in the Washington Institute`s Turkish research program, is a trade policy analyst at Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP. Despite the political conflicts, significant trade potential remains between the two countries, especially in the context of the US-China trade war, in which Washington is seeking new partners to prevent the global expansion of the Chinese economy. Washington, Brussels and Ankara could reap many economic and strategic benefits from a bilateral free trade agreement between the US and Turkey, but they need to act quickly to ensure that their efforts are linked to the trade negotiations already being conducted between the US and the EU. Washington may have geopolitical reasons to now take an interest in a trade deal, as Ankara rewards for its cooperation on sanctions against Iran, support for the Syrian opposition and rapprochement with Israel. Turkey is a major player in the region and its role is only growing, so Washington and the EU have a clear interest in staying close to Ankara. “Both the US and Turkish presidents intend to increase the volume of trade. But when it comes to practical realities, the bureaucratic structures of both countries seem more preventive than constructive,” the professor said. WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Thursday ended Turkey`s preferential trade treatment, which allowed some exports to enter the country duty-free, but halved its tariffs on Turkish steel imports to 25 percent. Turkey negotiates and excludes, alongside the EU, free trade agreements with third countries with a view to negotiating and concluding free trade agreements.

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