Cablegate: Foreign Trade Official On Wto Negotiations,

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

021419Z Mar 04





E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Foreign Trade Official on WTO Negotiations,
Palestine FTA and the QIZ


Ref: (A) Jerusalem 492 (B) State 6662 (B) Ankara 655

1. (SBU) Summary: In a February 27 meeting with
Econoff, Foreign Trade Deputy Director General Husnu
Dilemre and Department Head Hasan Yalcin expressed
support for USTR Zoellick's efforts to establish
positive momentum in the WTO negotiations, provided some
details on the Turkey - Palestine FTA, and expressed
interest in going forward with a Qualifying Industrial
Zone including textiles and apparel. End Summary.

2. (SBU) WTO Negotiations: Foreign Trade Deputy
Director General for Agreements Husnu Dilemre and
Department Head Hasan Yalcin told us that they viewed
USTR Zoellick's efforts to revive the the WTO
negotiations very positively. If progress is sufficient
to warrant a high-level meeting in 2004, Dilemre
suggested that Turkey might be willing to host a mini-
ministerial. However, he said this was a personal view
that would have to be cleared within the GOT, if and
when WTO members arrived at a consensus on the
desirability of holding such a meeting.

3. (SBU) Palestine FTA: In response to a question from
Econoff on Turkey's free trade agreement with Palestine
(refs A, C), Dilemre replied that the GOT negotiated
this FTA within the framework of its European Union
customs union. Since the EU has an FTA with Palestine,
Turkey is obliged to negotiate a parallel agreement.
Dilemre remarked that the Palestinians were hoping for
significant technical assistance under the FTA, but
Turkey's budget situation rules out an expensive
program. He said that assistance is likely to be
limited to sharing information, such as on customs
procedures and documents.

4. (SBU) Qualifying Industrial Zone (QIZ): Dilemre, a
member of the delegation traveling with Prime Minister
Erdogan's to the United States in January, expressed
disappointment with the USG's refusal to contemplate any
textile/apparel content in a Turkey QIZ. He said that
Turkey was prepared to consider various arrangements to
address our sensitivities on textiles, but which would
also preserve some flexibility for the future, such as a
temporary ban (lasting, for example, until 2010) on
according duty-free status to QIZ textiles exports.
Dilemre maintained that the QIZ is critical for Turkey,
because it is the only type of U.S. - Turkey trade
agreement which would be consistent with the rules of
the WTO and the customs union. Econoff responded that
USG agencies were not prepared to go to Congress with
any piece of QIZ legislation including trade preferences
for textiles or apparel.

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