Turkey-U.S. Business Council (TAİK) chairman Mehmet Ali Yalçındağ has penned a letter to President-elect Joe Biden, urging cooperation between the countries rather than sanctions.
Yalçındağ, who is known for his close ties to U.S. President Donald Trump, said that there are "significant opportunities which can help both economies thrive."
"The current bilateral trade volume stands at around $25 billion per year. TAİK strongly supports increasing this to $100 billion per year and has been working to make this goal a reality. To achieve this goal, TAİK supports establishing a free trade agreement between our countries," the letter dated Dec. 17 read.
As your administration looks to transform the American economy in the aftermath of COVID-19, Turkish manufacturers are well-positioned to help U.S. companies diversify their supply chains in several key sectors and a Turkey-U.S. Free Trade Agreement can help realize and maximize those opportunities," it added.
Yalçındağ said that if the U.S. and Turkey work together, they can make their economies "more resilient and place both countries on a path for sustained growth."
Turning to the recent U.S. sanctions on Turkey that were imposed over Ankara's purchase of S-400 missile defense systems, Yalçındağ noted that TAİK believes that they go against "our mission of bringing the two economies and countries closer."
"The business community in Turkey believes the United States and Turkey would be better served to find ways to strengthen the relationship, and we hope your administration will make this a priority upon taking office," Yalçındağ said.
A bi-national commission to cooperate
The council head also proposed establishing a bi-national commission in which Turkey and the U.S. "can create an open forum to regularly communicate, exchange ideas, find ways to cooperate and negotiate problems."
"Bi-national commissions have been successfully deployed by Democratic administrations since the 1990s to foster closer ties to countries with whom the United States has disagreed. Our two countries each have needs and expectations and differences, but it is abundantly in the interests of both to strengthen the relationship, not weaken it. A bi-national commission would create a platform upon which these issues can be discussed," Yalçındağ said.
"We very much look forward to working with your administration to identify prospects for
growing bilateral trade between Turkey and the United States. TAİK believes the world benefits
from a strong, cooperative partnership between our two countries and trade is the most powerful vehicle to build on our commonalities and bring us closer," he added.