The U.S.-Turkey Trade and Investment Council met recently in Ankara, the tenth such meeting under the bilateral trade and investment framework agreement signed in 1999. According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the two sides discussed the healthcare sector, agricultural trade, industrial goods trade, government procurement, the digital economy, intellectual property rights, and export credit cooperation and committed to enhancing dialogues on agricultural and digital trade. They also agreed to explore possible ways for further work in areas such as trade facilitation, export financing, innovation, advanced manufacturing, and startups. The next formal council meeting is scheduled to be held in the second half of 2018 in Washington, D.C.
Related Turkish trade barriers discussed in USTR’s 2017 National Trade Estimate report include the 2010 biosafety law, which requires health warnings on labels of products derived from agricultural biotechnology; onerous biotechnology-focused testing requirements for some food and feed; non-transparent regulatory requirements and unpredictable enforcement actions on food safety; restrictions on foreign company participation in government procurement; exports and transshipments of counterfeit goods; and data localization requirements.
According to the NTE report, the U.S. carried a $1.3 billion goods trade surplus with Turkey in 2016, down 18.9 percent from 2015. U.S. goods exports to Turkey fell 1.3 percent to $9.4 billion while imports rose 2.3 percent to $8.1 billion. U.S. exports of services to Turkey were an estimated at $3.1 billion in 2015 and U.S. imports were $2.1 billion.