Cablegate: Got Non-Committal On U.S. Non-Agricultural

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: GOT Non-Committal on U.S. Non-Agricultural
Tariff Proposal

REF: State 243208

1. Econoff met with Tevfik Mengu, Acting Director
General for Agreements at the Foreign Trade
Undersecretariat, on November 29 to deliver reftel
demarche on our proposal for negotiating elimination of
all non-agricultural tariffs by all WTO members by 2015.
Econoff emphasized that, under the proposal, tariffs on
exports of interest to Turkey, particularly steel and
garments, would be eliminated, and that, Turkey, which
has sharply cut tariffs on industrial goods under its EU
customs union, would benefit greatly from tariff
elimination by all WTO members. Mengu did not comment
on our proposal, other than to say that Foreign Trade
would study it carefully.

2. Comment: In previous contacts with this agency,
Foreign Trade officials have stressed that Turkey's
trade liberalization in recent years has generally been
painful for domestic industry and opened up large trade
deficits. They have been reluctant to consider
proposals which would dilute further the low tariff
protection (averaging four to five percent for non-EU
trade partners) the GOT is currently able to provide to
domestic industry.

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