“Following a free trade agreement between the United States and Turkey, Chinese dominance in the African market could be shattered if we increase our production capacity and diversify our products,” Vergil said. But Ankara had hoped that Washington would not advance the decision and said it would oppose the $75 billion target for mutual trade between President Donald Trump and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. Calls for an FREI trade agreement are not new. Last year, a task force of the Council on Foreign Relations, chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Stephen Hadley, former National Security Advisor, encouraged the continuation of such an agreement or, if not, a partnership that focused on “market access, regulatory compatibility, business facilitation, support for small and medium-sized enterprises and the promotion of advanced technology trade.” More recently, the Obama administration has expressed interest in an agreement with Ankara, in parallel with the TTIP negotiations with Brussels. In April, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry explicitly raised the “very real” possibility at a meeting of embassy staff in Brussels. President Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan then reached a consensus at a summit in Washington in May on work on a free trade agreement, a move announced by Vice President Biden. In the same speech, Graham referred to these two issues as obstacles to the establishment of a free trade agreement. “The way we do this is to overcome our differences. This cannot be done through the use of military force,” the senator said. Despite political conflicts, the two countries retain strong trade potential, particularly in the context of the U.S.-China trade war, where Washington is seeking new partners to prevent the expansion of China`s global economy. Like Graham, economists believe that a free trade agreement could work for the interests of both countries. The agreement provides for effective access to industrial product markets in the form of tariffs and rules of origin, which will create EFTA and European parity for EFTA exports to Turkey.
Since 1 January 1999, all industrial products, with the exception of certain products of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), originating from the EFTA states, have access to Turkey duty-free. Since the agreement came into force, industrial products originating in Turkey have benefited from duty-free access to EFTA states. The parties recognize that economic development, social development and environmental protection are interdependent.