NEWS NATIONAL NEWS        17/05/2019

USA ends Turkey’s preferential trade status

The United States yesterday ended Turkey’s participation in its Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) programme offered to certain counties. The US had started to review Turkey’s eligibility to be given preferential treatment in light of Turkey’s level of economic development when the two countries were embroiled in a diplomatic row. Ankara had however been hopeful that Washington would not go ahead with the decision in light of the USD 75 billion target for mutual trade laid out by President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The US decision is effective as of May 17th.


Turkey was one of 120 countries that participate in the GSP programme which aims to promote economic development in beneficiary countries and territories by eliminating duties on thousands of products. According to the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) website, the US imported  USD 1.66 billion in 2017 from Turkey under the GSP programme, representing 17.7% of total US imports from Turkey. The agency also stated that of GSP registered imports from Turkey the leading import categories were vehicles and vehicle parts, jewellery and precious metals, and stone articles.


As if to try to soften the blow, the US also decided to halve its tariffs on imports of Turkish steel to 25%. Last year, President Trump had imposed a doubling to 50% of the tariff on Turkish steel and aluminium imports to put economic pressure on Turkey to force it to release Andrew Brunson, an American pastor who had been detained in Turkey on terrorism charges. Brunson was since released last October.



Turkey’s net minimum wage has been raised 26.05% to TL 2,020 (USD 381) as of 01.01.2019       Migration communication helpline 157 available for foreigners in Turkey       Read our homepage articles on developments in the Turkish economy       Turkey’s annual inflation rate drops to 9.26% in September 2019       Turkey’s unemployment rate increases to 14% in August 2019       Read our BUSINESS section for latest sectoral and corporate news       Turkey’s population is 82,003,882 as of 2018 yearend       Number of foreigners visiting Turkey in 2018 increases by 21.8% to 39.5 million       Turkey’s private sector foreign debt is USD 225.8 billion as of 2018 yearend       Turkey’s economy contracted by 2.6% in the first quarter of 2019       Turkey shows surplus of USD 538 million in its 12 month rolling current account balance in June 2019