The United States and Turkey share a strong partnership and friendship, rooted in common values and strategic interests, and reinforced by the enduring links between the people of both countries. The United States is firmly committed to broadening and deepening this partnership, and together we have taken great strides in recent years. A shared vision for how to advance bilateral, regional, and global issues continues to drive the United States and Turkey ever closer. The vital people-to-people connections that thrive across an extensive range of sectors and topics ensure this relationship continues to modernize and advance. Following are key areas of this important partnership.
Global Partners: The United States welcomes Turkey’s leadership on the world stage to address a range of challenges that we are stronger confronting together. Our leaders meet often and work as partners on topics such as encouraging a political transition in Syria, promoting Middle East Peace, supporting economic reform and growth throughout the Middle East/North Africa region, advancing a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus, normalizing relations with Armenia, and encouraging the highest standards for human rights, democracy, and governance at home and abroad.
Economic and Trade Partners: We have a strong and growing trade and investment relationship, and we remain committed to strengthening it even further. Over the last four years, our bilateral trade has grown 75 percent to nearly $20 billion, and U.S. exports have more than doubled. Prospects for the future are even brighter, as American and Turkish companies are collaborating across a range of sectors, including technology, pharmaceuticals, energy, and infrastructure. Our aerospace companies are moving ahead with a $3.5 billion deal to jointly build our most advanced helicopter. The Cabinet-level Framework for Strategic Economic & Commercial Cooperation (FSECC) that the United States and Turkey launched in 2009 is the focal point for efforts to improve the trade and investment climate in both countries by working through obstacles to increased market access, and identifying new areas of collaboration. The United States’ proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) with the European Union (EU) could have an impact on Turkey, given its Customs Union with the EU. With that in mind, the United States and Turkey decided today to establish a bilateral High Level Committee led by the Ministry of Economy of Turkey and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, associated with the Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation, with the ultimate objective of continuing to deepen our economic relations and liberalize trade.
Partners in Countering Terrorism: Our countries are stronger when we work together on common challenges, such as safeguarding our citizens. Recent terrorist attacks in both the United States and Turkey remind us of the continuing threat of terrorism and the risks we take to maintain an open, democratic, and free society. As co-chairs of the Global Counterterrorism Forum, Turkey and the United States are working together to build the international cooperation and capacities that are essential to addressing this problem over the long-term.
Security Partners: Turkey is a strategic partner to the United States, a longstanding NATO Ally, and a valued friend. Turkey contributes to international security alongside U.S. forces in Afghanistan, the seas near Somalia, and in the Mediterranean. In response to Turkey’s request, the United States contributed to the NATO deployment of Patriot systems to augment Turkey’s air defense capabilities, which became operational earlier this year. This deployment, as well as our work together, underscores how our military-to-military collaboration is addressing some of the many complex potential threats we face today, in particular those emanating from Syria.
Partners in Education, Science, and Innovation: Nearly 12,000 Turks studied in the United States in the 2011-2012 academic year – more than any other European country. American and Turkish scientists lead collaborative research to improve energy efficiency, health, and education under our recently ratified U.S.-Turkey Science and Technology Agreement. We are also fostering public-private partnerships that support technology-based innovation and entrepreneurship, vital to a knowledge-based economy.