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USA & Turkey Industrial Supply Marketplace

US-Turkey Trade Relations: A Partnership Stronger Than Most Realize
How the Trade Started

Turkey is an independent republic occupying a region that has played a major role in world history. Its economic development began in the mid-1920s under the rule of the first president of the Turkish republic, Kemal Ataturk. The said leader attempted to westernize as well as industrialize the economy. Another contributory factor to Turkey's development is its membership with the Marshall Plan and in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

However, the per capita income remained lower compared to other industrialized countries in the world. After membership with the European Community (EC) in 1987, it received significant financial aid. To keep underemployment under control, many Turks worked abroad thus remittances from these workers provide a major source of foreign exchange.

Food processing accounts for one-third of the manufacturing activities in Turkey while textiles and clothing comprise 20% of it. Steel production is also vital. Other major industrial products included machinery and metal goods, petrochemicals, fertilizers, vehicles and pulp and paper. Despite relatively low energy needs for Turkey, the cost of imported petroleum is a heavy burden.

Accounting for less than 20% of its Gross National Product is agriculture. It employs more than 50% of the labor force, though. The principal crop is cereals while vegetables, grapes, sugar beets, oilseeds and potatoes are also grown. Cattle, sheep, goats and poultry are raised as well. Much of Turkey's wood harvest is used for energy. The commercial fishing industry is presently being developed.

The Turks international relations with the Americans began after the end of the World War II. The United States assigned Turkey as a recipient of special economic and financial assistance as well as military support in order to make the latter resist Soviet Union threats. After these series of economic warfare, Turkey became an independent city and freed itself from dictatorship. To these days, it is enjoying its democracy to which the United States played a very important role.

Major Exports and Imports between the US and Turkey

Because of the United States' participation in Turkey's attainment of democracy, their trading relations prospered. However, Middle Eastern nations are beginning to rival Western European Countries and the US as Turkey's trading partners. The danger was not a hindrance at all to the US-Turkey trade relations. In fact, they have maintained a special kind of foreign trade.

The principal exports of Turkey include cotton, fruits, nuts, tobacco, metals, cereals, textiles and clothing and livestock. Imports are primarily comprised of machinery, chemicals, crude oil, base metals, fertilizers, mineral products and vehicles. As of August 2008, the US Census Bureau tracked a record of $7.52 billion US exports to Turkey while the imports of the former from the latter significantly recorded an eight-month total of $2.85 billion. For the year 2007, remarkable sales were seen in a lot of products traded between the two. Here are the prime commodities involved:

  • Turkish Exports to United States. The year 2007 was a good year for exports from Turkey entering the United States. As evidence to this, a total amount of $4.6 billion was recorded and on top of the list of prime commodities are apparel and household goods made from cotton. The said product totaled to $589.53 million or 12.82% of the year's exports. Other products on the list were: stone, sand, cement and lime; jewelry likes rings and watches; iron and steel mill products - semifinished; other petroleum products; apparel and household goods from other textiles; tobacco, waxes and nonfood oils; synthetic cloth and fabrics, thread and cordage; finished metal shapes and advanced manufacture except steel; and fruits and preparation including frozen juices. The last product exported earned $108.05 million or 2.34% of 2007's total.
  • Turkish Imports from the United States. For the imports coming from the United States, Turkey sold an overall total of $6.59 billion. Of this amount, $906.51 million or 13.76% came from steelmaking materials. Other remarkable goods were: raw cotton; civilian aircraft; plastic materials; organic chemicals; parts for military-type goods; corn; medicinal equipment; newsprint; and soybeans. Soybeans earned $133.75 million or 2.03% of the year's total.
  • Fastest-Growing US Exports to Turkey. The products traded between these two nations come in different forms. A lot of these commodities have proved their market share. For the products entering Turkey from US, there were those which were sold at a very commendable increase from 2006. Topping the charts is fuel oil which gained total sales of $48.22 million in 2007 or an increase of 112,144% from 2006. Other products included in the list were: wheat; wood supplies, manufactures; nonfarm tractors and parts; and corn. Corn earned a total of $154.78 million higher by 561.35% from 2006.
  • Fastest-Growing US Imports from Turkey. The United States sold a lot of goods coming from Turkey. It was surprising that a lot of the products coming from the latter made their way to increase their rankings in terms of sales at the former. Other materials except chemicals showed an increase of 37,200% at $1.1 million for 2007. Other commodities which have improved their sales standings were: complete and assembled goods; cotton, wool and other natural fibers; computers; and other materials like hair and waste materials. The last product exported to Turkey gained sales of $11.66 million equivalent to an increase of 442% from 2006.
Supporting Facts Behind the Trade of the Two Nations

Tracking the roots of their friendship from the end of World War II, the US and Turkey have continued to provide strength for each other. Just recently, the US government had spoken of their support for Turkey's plan of joining the European Union (EU). President Bush's agreement on this plan was voiced out on the following aspects:

  • On economic reforms. Then President Bush congratulated Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Edrogan on the latter's willingness to transform economically. The move on the Prime Minister's part to join the EU was a good start for an even more worthy trade relations with the United States. Bush firmly believes that Turkey's joining the EU was for the interest of the United States also.
  • On Copenhagen political criteria. Discussion on the reforms made by Turkey to the EU using the Copenhagen political criteria and the Maastricht criteria were also made. This was found to be of relevance to Turkey's transition to a third-stage membership in the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). This was a better way to belong to the adoption of the monetary unit now centralizing in Europe which is called the Euro.
  • On Peace and Stability. This was more of talking about schemes on how Turkey could help contribute to the peace and stability in the Middle East. The two nations found it vital that they furthermore strengthen their war against terrorism. They even planned of forming a so-called joint platform which will be beneficial for the fight against war and terror on a world basis.
  • There was also the so-called Turkey Bilateral Investment Treaty. This agreement was signed in December 3, 1985 but only took effect on May 18, 1990. Just like any other bilateral treaties between the US and another country, this focused on protection of investments of both parties. Furthermore, it was geared to the encouragement on the part of Turkey to structural policies and macroeconomic standards. This was known to be integral in the development in terms of global economy.
Disputes Between the US and Turkey: Are There Any?

The United States and Turkey are probably one of the strongest foreign trade relations ever built in the history of world economy. Both have fought their wars together and anti terrorism tactics of the US were always supported by the Turks. With the further involvement of the Turkey in the EU, it was reported that the latter was already adopting policies of the US recently. While Turkey could not formulate its own foreign policies, US was there to support it in every step of the way.

However, one notable fact in the history of the trade relations of these two nations was when the Turkish Parliament denied the US troops wanting to stay in the boarders of Turkey before paving its way to Iraq. This was minor though and the impact may have affected some portions of their trade relations. This fact was not proven to interfere the foreign trade between Turkey and the US.

The Future that Lies Ahead

A lot of nations have been dealing with the United States and may have considered the country to be one of their strongest trading partners. Who would ever doubt about this fact but only those who are envious of the support the US could give to another country. The race is not really between the US and the other nations. It is all about which country builds a stronger relationship with the US.

The US-Turkey trade relation is probably one of the strongest alliances in the world. They may have some differences but the foundation of their friendship did not consider these things as hindrances. They even used the disputes to even talk about certain means that will improve their stature in world economy. There is still a bright future for these two economies especially that US is still making its part in the struggles of Turkey to be recognized in global trade.

US-Turkey Trade References

Note: Trade statistics, industry links, economic projections and global business resources on this page have been compiled from hundreds of trade related websites, government guides and resources on the Internet. We provide this valuable information for industrial suppliers, manufacturers, exporters and importers seeking to enter or expland business opportunities in Turkey.

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