Search

 

Cablegate: Gsp Program Vital to Turkish Exporters

VZCZCXRO9977
PP RUEHDA
DE RUEHAK #0902/01 1301643
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 091643Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6235
INFO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 4207
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 2920

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 000902

DEPT PLEASE PASS USTR FOR MSANDLER AND MMOWREY
USDOC FOR ITA/MAC/KNAJDI
USDA FOR ONA/SPITZER AND OCRA/SEIDBAND

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD EAGR ECON TU
SUBJECT: GSP PROGRAM VITAL TO TURKISH EXPORTERS

1. (SBU) Summary. Turkish officials and businessmen have already
begun expressing their concern about this year's review of Turkey's
participation in the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)
Program. Turkey's GSP exports account for one-quarter of its total
$4.6 billion exports to the U.S. As Turkey's use of the GSP Program
increases, so does market access for U.S. agricultural products. We
are enjoying a period of considerably increased market openness in
Turkey, with U.S. agricultural exports reaching a record $1.5
billion in 2007. The GSP program is Turkey's only preferential
trade arrangement with the U.S. It is vitally important to its
exporters, who are mostly small and medium enterprises (SMEs),
during this period of economic instability. Functioning SMEs and a
strong rural economy in Turkey are important for U.S. policy
objectives here. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Turkish officials and businessmen are concerned about this
year's upcoming Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Program
review. The GSP Program is the only preferential trade arrangement
under which Turkish companies can export duty-free goods to the U.S.
Turkey's European Customs Union membership prevents them from
entering into any bilateral preferential trade agreements with the
U.S. It is a vitally important program to the Turkish economy and
allows them to remain competitive in certain U.S. markets.

3. (SBU) As with previous years, Turkey's 2007 GSP exports, totaling
$1.1 billion, accounted for almost one quarter of its $4.6 billion
total exports to the U.S. Gold jewelry was again their main GSP
export and totaled $344 million. Other items included monumental or
building stone, shotguns, fruit juice, copper wire, marble slabs,
bulk olive oil for repackaging, pickled vegetables, aluminum alloy,
and non-adhesive plates.


2007: A Banner Year for U.S. Ag Exports
---------------- ----------------------

4. (SBU) As Turkey' use of GSP increases, so does market access for
U.S. agricultural products. We are enjoying a period of
considerably increased market openness in Turkey, with U.S.
agricultural exports reaching a record $1.5 billion in 2007. Turkey
was the tenth largest market for U.S. agricultural exports overall,
and the second largest market for U.S. cotton exports after China.
Cotton sales of $767 million provided more than one-half of the
total U.S. export value. In addition to cotton, Turkish imports of
U.S. soymeal, feed ingredients, vegetable oils, animal fats, fruit
and vegetable juices, tree nuts, and panel products (including
plywood) all reached record highs in 2007.

Market Access: Important Successes and Continued Challenges
------------------- ---------------- -------------

5. (SBU) 2007 saw several successes in easing market access
problems for U.S. exports and persuading GOT officials to make
several regulatory changes that have benefited U.S. products. A
protocol negotiated in July 2007 reopened the market for live
cattle, which had been closed since 2003. We also convinced the GOT
to modify a standard that had restricted imports of U.S. dried
distillers grains (DDG's), a feedstock that is a byproduct of
ethanol manufacture. By the end of 2007, Turkey was the
fifth-largest purchaser of U.S. DDG's. We also successfully
negotiated a change in the regulations that facilitated increased
U.S. pet food exports to Turkey. Although Turkey has met all of its
1994 WTO obligations to lower tariffs, we continue to encourage the
GOT to lower them further. Most are bound at very high levels,
including those for grains, oilseeds, processed products, and wine
and alcoholic beverages, which also face high excise taxes. Because
a drought has reduced domestic supplies, tariffs on many foodstuffs
have been lowered, at least for the time being.

6. (SBU) Turkey is also a major importer of U.S. biotech products,
including almost $1 billion annually in corn, cotton, soybeans and
products. A proposed amended Biosafety Law, however, would disrupt
U.S. exports and likely mimic EU restrictions. Because of this, we
do not draw public attention to these imports.


WTO DSB Rice Case Resolved
--------------------------

7. (SBU) In 2006, the U.S. requested that the WTO Dispute
Settlemen" Body establish a panel to review Turkey's protectionist
measures against U.S. rice exports. In November 2007, the panel
agreed that certain Turkish import measures were inconsistent with
its WTO obligations. Since this panel decision, the U.S. and Turkey
have been negotiating a schedule during which Turkey will comply

ANKARA 00000902 002 OF 002


with the panel's decision. Ironically, faced with domestic
shortages, Turkey recently authorized its State Grain Board (TMO) to
import up to 100,000 tons of rice duty-free.

Turkey Needs GSP
----------------

8. (SBU) Comment: The GSP Program is Turkey's only preferential
trade program with the U.S. As economic conditions worsen and the
dollar's value decreases, this program has become even more
important for Turkey's economy, which is fueled by small and medium
enterprises (SMEs) with very narrow profit margins. As Turkey
continues to open its markets to U.S. agricultural products, we
cannot use its previous reluctance to do so as a reason for reducing
its participation in this program. Strong and functioning SMEs, in
addition to a well-developed rural and agricultural economy, are
important to U.S. policy goals in Turkey. End comment.

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC