Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register



Cablegate: Apparel Executives On Chinese Exports, Tifa,

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

Ref: (A) Ankara 2161 (B) Ankara 2170

1. (U) This message was coordinated with Amconsul

2. (SBU) Summary: In an April 8 lunch, textile and
apparel industry representatives praised U.S. movement
toward limits on Chinese textile imports and expressed
the hope the European Commission would follow suit.
They also supported convening a meeting of the U.S.-
Turkey Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA)
Council and plan to lobby the GOT to again propose
creation of Qualifying Industrial Zones with duty-free
access for Turkish textiles. Textile manufacturers
have called on the GOT to cut taxes on labor and value-
added and to reduce energy costs for their sector. A
representative of the Turkish exporters union remarked
that U.S. GSP was not a major benefit to Turkey. End

2. (U) Istanbul Polecon Chief and Econoffs met with
Suleyman Orakcioglu, Chair of the Istanbul Ready-Made
Garment Exporters Association (IHKIB), A. Rusen Cetin,
an IHKIB board member, and Ziya Sukun, the U.S.
representative of the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM),
to discuss developments in the textile and garment
industry, as well as broader trade concerns.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

Urging Limits on China, Breaks for Domestic Industry
--------------------------------------------- -------

3. (U) Orakcioglu praised the decision taken earlier
that week by the U.S. Committee for the Implementation
of Textile Agreements (CITA) to investigate imports
from China, the first step toward measures to limit
Chinese imports (and reduce competition for Turkish
exports). Orakcioglu expressed the hope that the EC
would also impose limits on its imports from China. He
and his colleagues deployed standard arguments on the
inability of Turkish industry to compete against unfair
Chinese labor, subsidy and exchange rate practices,
maintaining that Turkish apparel exporters to U.S. and
European markets observe fair labor and other

4. (U) Note: Early in April, IHKIB, TIM and a raft of
other business chambers issued a manifesto urging the
GOT to reduce employment taxes and premia as well as
energy costs for the apparel sector, arguing that
continuing loss of employment in this area threatened
social stability. More recently, these groups called
on the GOT to cut value added tax rates from 18 to 8
percent. Although Finance Minister Unakitan told the
press that such incentives were a real possibility, the
IMF strongly opposes this on fiscal and equity grounds
(ref A). End Note.

Interest in Both a TIFA and a QIZ

5. (SBU) Econoff's told Orakcioglu and his colleagues
that the U.S. side was interested in making use of the
Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) to deal
with bilateral economic problems, but that we had been
unable to schedule a TIFA with the Foreign Trade
Undersecretariat as yet. Orakcioglu agreed that that a
TIFA meeting would be useful, and promised to raise
this directly with State Minister Tuzmen. He stated
that industry would lobby the GOT to resurrect their
longstanding proposal to grant textile and apparel
products duty-free preferences in a Turkey Qualifying
Industrial Zone (QIZ).

GSP of Marginal Interest

6. (SBU) Econoff pointed out to Sukun, who, unlike
Orakcioglu and Cetin, theoretically represents the
range of Turkish exporters rather than solely the
textile industry, that Turkey had made great strides in
diversifying exports and in expanding use of the
Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) in recent
years. Echoing recent comments by a Foreign Trade
official (ref B), the TIM representative disparaged GSP
benefits as limited to several somewhat marginal, low
value-added sectors which would be subject to low U.S.
tariffs without GSP.

Mandatory Importers Associations a Great Idea

7. (SBU) Econoff also raised concerns that the GOT plan
to require all importers to join and pay fees to
importers associations could result in new nontariff
barriers, and asked Sukun the status of efforts to
implement an alternate concept which would create a
hybrid (but still mandatory) business chamber based on
TIM and including both importers and exporters. Sukun,
who may not have been current on this issue, offered a
passionate defense of mandatory importers associations
as necessary in collecting improved import statistics.
He criticized the Foreign Investor Association (YASED)
for opposing the measure, denouncing them as a group of
"foreign agents". Econoff responded that it would be
unusual for an association representing foreign
investors to ignore foreign business views and
interests on questions of Turkish trade policy.


8. (SBU) Turkish textile exporters are pleased with
evolving U.S. policy on imports from China, and are
eager to see us and the Europeans do even more. While
not explicitly stated at this meeting, good relations
with the U.S. textile industry may be inflating the
hopes of Turkish textile producers for preferential
trade with the U.S., such as through a QIZ. The Turks
would likely argue that any increase in Turkish exports
would come at the expense of China or other lower-cost
producers, rather than of U.S. industry.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
World Headlines

UN News: Aid Access Is Key Priority

Among the key issues facing diplomats is securing the release of a reported 199 Israeli hostages, seized during the Hamas raid. “History is watching,” says Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths. “This war was started by taking those hostages. Of course, there's a history between Palestinian people and the Israeli people, and I'm not denying any of that. But that act alone lit a fire, which can only be put out with the release of those hostages.” More

Save The Children: Four Earthquakes In a Week Leave Thousands Homeless

Families in western Afghanistan are reeling after a fourth earthquake hit Herat Province, crumbling buildings and forcing people to flee once again, with thousands now living in tents exposed to fierce winds and dust storms. The latest 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit 30 km outside of Herat on Sunday, shattering communities still reeling from strong and shallow aftershocks. More

UN News: Nowhere To Go In Gaza

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said some 1.1M people would be expected to leave northern Gaza and that such a movement would be “impossible” without devastating humanitarian consequences and appeals for the order to be rescinded. The WHO joined the call for Israel to rescind the relocation order, which amounted to a “death sentence” for many. More

Access Now: Telecom Blackout In Gaza An Attack On Human Rights

By October 10, reports indicated that fixed-line internet, mobile data, SMS, telephone, and TV networks are all seriously compromised. With significant and increasing damage to the electrical grid, orders by the Israeli Ministry of Energy to stop supplying electricity and the last remaining power station now out of fuel, many are no longer able to charge devices that are essential to communicate and access information. More


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.