Negotiations for the tariffs the United States plans to levy will end on March 23 and have led to concerns for many, including the European Union, China and Japan.
Economies such as the European Union, Japan, China, Australia and Turkey, which are iron, steel and aluminum suppliers for the U.S., have shared their views that the additional customs tax should not apply to products from their countries and are demanding negotiations. Turkey's Ministry of Economy has handed in two letters that include their stance and arguments on why Turkey's iron, steel and aluminum products should not be included in the U.S.' additional customs tax. According to Ankara, two critical points should be covered in this regulation. First, Turkey grants foreign trade deficits in favor of U.S. President Donald Trump, however, claims that this tariff is actually a move against countries where the U.S. acquires foreign trade deficits. Moreover, even though Turkey exports $1.2 billion of iron and steel to the U.S., it also imports $1.3 billion from the U.S. Thus, Turkey is the one with a slight trade deficit in iron and steel.
This is why Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said Turkey does not fit any points in Trump's statement, emphasizing that Turkey deserves to be an exempted country. Zeybekci said, at this stage, Turkey has no intentions of fueling the fire and that the entire world is aware of how the U.S. supported cotton with U.S. Cotton and Boeing. Another important detail is the EU's call for Turkey to cooperate. European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi's call saying, "The U.S. must decide who is a friend, who is an enemy," shows that the U.S. administration's inconsistent behavior toward European countries and Turkey — with whom the country has been moving forward in economy and defense for the last 60 years —is being called into question by everyone. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also expressed her concerns and shared her view that no one would win in such a race.
Trump, in return, has appointed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to negotiate against the EU's high tax tariffs and barriers on U.S. farmers and producers. Trump, in the meantime, signed a presidential decree that blocked Singapore-based Broadcom from buying U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm for $ 117 billion on the grounds of national security. China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi, on the other hand, said it is wrong to launch a trade war. He stressed that China is not vying to get the U.S.' global throne, but if it insists, they will not hesitate to take the necessary steps.
Sakura era in collaborating
Sakura in Japan's deeply rooted culture is, in fact, more than just a blossoming cherry tree or a simple sign of spring and new life. They are also signs of change. Zeybekci's visit to Tokyo this past week was critical in terms of its literal meaning and as a sign of a new era and change in Turkey-Japan economic and trade relations. During the two-day marathon of talks and meetings, Zeybekci proposed cooperation in Turkey's cultural geography to his Japanese counterpart, the representatives of the Japanese business world and contractors. We are now launching a long-standing economic cooperation process between the two countries in the Balkans, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa by putting together Turkey's mobility stemming from its cultural, social and historical background and Turkish contractors and business world's services and trade quality with Japan's technological and financial capabilities. With the free trade agreement (FTA), which will have its ninth round in April and will be completed by this fall at the latest, we will turn a new page with Japan. This new era with Japan could turn into a cooperation worth between $250 billion and $500 billion by 2030.
This new cooperation between Asia's most east and most west means that Turkey will be establishing deep and rooted economic relations with global actors over the next 25 to 50 years. In Zeybekci's words, Turkey is calling on global actors, such as the EU, the U.S., Russia and China, to move beyond defense and limited trade relationships and cooperation, toward deeper cooperation in the fields of science, technology, innovation, extensive trade and the distribution of welfare. Turkey is encouraging the global actors to set aside antagonism for kinship. This is why Turkey will start a new era with countries with more self-sustained, established and extensive cooperation, one that mirrors international expectations of what Turkey's relationship with the U.S should be. Hence, it is very important for future relations that the U.S. decides in favor of Turkey on March 23 regarding iron, steel and aluminum.