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Washington-Beijing trade war offers Turkey opportunity to boost trade with US

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Turkey sees an opportunity to boost trade with the United States amid Washington’s trade war with Beijing, the Turkish trade minister said on Tuesday, according to Reuters, reinforcing an ambitious goal of quadrupling the bilateral trade to $100 billion a year.

“We have determined that the issues between the US and China will create a significant opportunity for trade in various sectors,” Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan told a joint press conference with US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

“We have expressed our readiness to export more in order to meet demand in the US,” she said.

Pekcan added that trade and investment would be the main topic when US President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, meet during the United Nations General Assembly later this month in New York.

On Saturday Turkey asked the United States to lift trade barriers during talks aimed at sharply increasing bilateral commerce.

Washington and Ankara’s goal of $100 billion in trade a year comes despite the prospect of US sanctions over Turkey’s purchase of a Russian S-400 missile defense system. The United States says trade with Turkey totaled $24 billion in 2017, with the US surplus standing at $1.5 billion.

The White House said in May it was ending a preferential trade agreement with Turkey, saying Turkey’s level of economic development meant it was no longer eligible for the support.

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