The trade volume between Turkey and the U.S. has expanded by nearly 17 percent in the first 11 months of 2017 compared to the same period the year before and reached $18.7 billion despite the political tensions between the two countries, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Jan. 19.
In the first year U.S. President Donald Trump took office, Turkey’s exports to the U.S. rose 32.4 percent compared to the same period the year before, reaching $7.9 billion, while imports from the U.S. rose 7.2 percent, to $10.8 billion, according to Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) data.
As of November 2017, the foreign trade volume went above the number from 2016, reaching $17.5 billion. Turkey’s exports to the U.S. had reached $6.6 billion in 2016, while imports from that country were around $10.9 billion.
“From time to time, it can be seen that political-diplomatic relations and economic relations move in different gears,” Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK) Turkey-U.S. Business Council Chairman Mehmet Ali Yalçındağ tolf the agency.
“The first year of Trump’s presidency was somewhat like this. Economic relations were overshadowed by political fluctuations, and there were discouraging problems between the two countries such as the visa conflict.”
Yalçındağ said economic relations between the U.S. and Turkey are comprehensive and deep-rooted and that those who did not believe Trump’s promise that the U.S. economy would be boosted in his presidency stand corrected.
The Turkish economy has strong export potential, while the Turkish business world possesses the flexibility and reflexes to quickly evaluate every opportunity, he added.
“As such, we positively responded to developments in the U.S., and our exports grew rapidly with a really good performance, as proven by the figures,” Yalçındağ said, adding that Turkey’s exports to the U.S. reached approximately $8 billion as of November, an increase of 32.4 percent compared to the same period last year. “I estimate that in 2017, our trade volume with the U.S. will exceed $19 billion. These are numbers that encourage us and urge us to work harder,” he noted.
TurkStat data indicates that Turkey’s exports to the U.S. continuously rose from 2012, while imports decreased.
Turkey’s exports to the U.S. were around $5.6 billion in 2012, $5.64 billion in 2013, $6.34 billion in 2014, around $6.40 billion in 2015 and some $6.62 billion in 2016. On the other hand, Turkey’s imports from that country were about $14.13 billion in 2012, $12.61 billion in 2013, $12.73 billion in 2014, $11.14 billion in 2015 and $10.91 billion in 2016.
New dimensions should be added to the reviving commercial relations between Turkey and the United States, Yalçındağ suggested, underlining that boosting direct investments, which almost came to a halt in 2017, should be the biggest priority.
Yalçındağ also underlined that despite fluctuating political relations between the two countries, Turkish companies’ appetite for direct investment in the U.S. continues to increase and that Turkey is the ninth fastest rising country among countries investing in the U.S. and that Turkish firms are creating thousands of jobs in almost every state from Texas to California, from New York to Florida.