21:49 GMT +306 December 2019
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    MPs on US Duty Free Status Termination: Turkey to Switch to Alternative Markets

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    Trump indicated that he intends to remove Turkey from the list of GSP eligible countries. Sputnik spoke about it to Yıldırım Tuğrul Türkeş, an economist and Turkish MP from the ruling Justice and Development Party and Ahmet Akın, Turkish MP from the main opposition Republican People’s Party, member of the Parliamentary Industry and Trade Committee.

    The decision was made "based on the level of economic development of the country": according to Trump, over the past 45 years, during which Turkey has been receiving benefits under the GSP, its economy has grown and diversified, income per capita has increased, poverty has decreased, and export diversification has increased, both by country and by sector.

    Washington's decision was critically received by the Turkish authorities. Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan, commenting on the White House decision, said: "In the total volume of imports in the amount of $20.9 billion, which the United States made over the 11 months of 2018, Turkey is the fifth supplying country, with a share of $1.74 billion and 8.2 percent accordingly. This decision contradicts the goal of bringing the trade volume between the states up to $75 billion, announced by the governments of the two countries. Moreover, this decision will also have a negative impact on American small and medium-sized enterprises and producers."

    READ MORE: Turkey's Purchase of S-400 to Result in Reassessing F-35 Program — US State Dept

    Sputnik has asked Turkish deputies from the ruling and leading opposition parties to comment on Trump's decision.

    According to economist Yıldırım Tuğrul Türkeş, a Turkish MP from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), this decision of the American president demonstrates his persistent determination to carry out the "wild capitalism" policy that is familiar to the US. "Trump, conducting not only in relation to Turkey but to the whole world the fifty-year-old policy of "wild capitalism", expects in this way to revive the American economy. He adheres to this strategy in relations with all countries, beginning with China, and ending with Russia. This policy can bring dynamism to the US economy only in the short-term but not in the long-term, this approach will have dire consequences for the entire global economic system," Türkeş stressed.

    Pointing to the level of confidence in America as an international partner, which has been strongly shaken since Trump took office, the Turkish MP continued: "The whole world sees that all bilateral agreements or agreements on strategic partnership concluded with the United States earlier, today lose their relevance and cease to apply. This is a problem entirely and completely connected with Washington's actions. In the past, when some kind of bilateral cooperation agreement was concluded with the United States, the opposite side was sure that the validity of this document would be at least 10-15 years. When Trump came to power, all these obligations and expectations lost their meaning."

    From this point of view, Trump's decision to exclude Turkey from the Generalized System of Preferences programme was an expected step, Türkeş noted, emphasising that in this situation Turkey can shift towards alternative markets:

    "Turkey as a developed country, and in terms of exports will switch to alternative markets. In the short-term, it is possible that this step will have a stimulating effect on the American economy but, ultimately, production costs in America are incomparable and cannot compete with the world economic system. Today Turkey will shift towards alternative markets, tomorrow — China, then Vietnam, and further down the chain. Therefore, this policy of Trump's, in the long run, will cause serious damage to the American economy itself. In my opinion, the biggest question is in what format US relations with other countries will develop in the future," he concluded.

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    Turkish opposition Republican People's Party (NPP) MP Ahmet Akın, a member of the Parliamentary Industry and Trade Committee, in turn, pointed out that Trump's decision will introduce a new round of tensions in Turkish-American relations: "Previously, the goal was set to achieve a turnover of 75 billion dollars between countries. However, Trump made a scandalous new decision, which negates the possibility of achieving this goal. This step of Trump is a new attack within the framework of the trade war he began. Under these conditions, Turkey should have a strong and stable economic system so that such attacks will not have a negative impact on our country. Countries that, like us, are waging an economic struggle against external pressure must develop a clear, consistent and long-term plan of action", he noted.

    The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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