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Cablegate: Turkey Also Concerned About Protectionist Spiral,

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DE RUEHAK #2087 3391231
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 041231Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
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UNCLAS ANKARA 002087

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EFIN ETRD PREL ECON WTRO
SUBJECT: TURKEY ALSO CONCERNED ABOUT PROTECTIONIST SPIRAL,
BUT MAY TAKE MEASURES OF ITS OWN

REF: STATE 125609

1. (SBU) We delivered reftel talking points to Ibrahim
Yagli, MFA Department Head in the Office of Multilateral
Economic Affairs. He observed that the GOT had not been
aware of the protectionist measures taken by India, Brazil,
and Argentina. Yagli agreed that such activities could
create a dangerous spiral and emphasized that Turkey has not
undertaken any new protectionist measures since the G20
summit.

2. (SBU) Yagli admitted, however, that the GOT's economic
program has not been fully defined and that some measures
that might appear protectionist could be included. He
promised to transmit our concerns to the group at Treasury
that is defining that program. Yagli also asked whether the
USG had any information concerning possible protectionist
measures in China, noting that as an engine of the world
economy it is important that the Chinese market remain open
and free.

3. (SBU) Comment: While Yagli's statement that no new
protectionist measures have been implemented is accurate,
there is evidence that the GOT is trying to reinvigorate
existing protectionist rules. A recent circular from the
Prime Minister's office urged the public sector to procure
goods locally when possible and reminded them that Turkish
companies can receive a 15 percent cost-adjustment in
competitive procurement bids. This is not a new regulation,
but the PM's decision to issue a circular just to remind
agencies that they can give preference to Turkish goods is
unusual. U.S. pharmaceutical companies have expressed concern
that this may disadvantage them in health sector tenders. End
comment.

Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at
http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Portal:Turk ey

JEFFREY

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