WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Turkey is expecting the United States to not implement a decision to terminate the country’s preferential trade treatment under a program that allowed some exports to enter the United States duty free, the Turkish embassy in Washington said in a statement.

The US Trade Representative (USTR) in early March said Turkey was no longer eligible to participate in the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program because it “is sufficiently economically developed.”

“To reach the $75 bln target laid out by President Erdogan and President Trump for mutual trade volumes between Turkey and the US, we have conveyed, in multiple occasions, to the US side our expectations that any measures obstructive for mutual trade be dropped,” the Turkish embassy said in a statement to Reuters.

“In this context, our expectation that the decision to terminate our country’s GSP designation would not be implemented continues,” it added.

USTR did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

USTR in early March said removing Turkey from the program would not take effect for at least 60 days after notifications to Congress and the Turkish government, and it would be enacted by a presidential proclamation.

Last August, USTR said it was reviewing Turkey’s eligibility in the program after the NATO ally imposed retaliatory tariffs on US goods in response to American steel and aluminium tariffs.

Turkey is one of 120 countries that participate in the GSP, the oldest and largest US trade preference program. It aims to promote economic development in beneficiary countries and territories by eliminating duties on thousands of products.

The United States imported $1.66 billion in 2017 from Turkey under the GSP program, representing 17.7 percent of total US imports from Turkey, according to USTR’s website.

The leading GSP import categories were vehicles and vehicle parts, jewellery and precious metals, and stone articles, the website said.


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