OPINION: Economic Integration Between The US And Turkey Could Be The Start Of A Better Relationship

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Howard Beasey CEO, American Turkish Council
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It is a well-worn idea that the world learned just over half a century ago and seems destined to re-learn in the future: Economic engagement and integration, done fairly and with as few barriers as possible, is far more beneficial to all parties than economic warfare and the manipulation of trade and economic levers resulting in what ultimately amounts to a zero-sum game.

The economic integration of global economies on a level playing field can serve and does serve to bind allies in meaningful and tangible ways that purely nationalistic ideals and alignment will not. Integration — not isolation — is in the United States’ interest. The evidence for this approach is seen in pro-business advocacy, which lifts our industries, the workforce and the nation.

Today, we see a world of tension and growing discord between longtime allies and much of this revolves around the ideals, or lack thereof, of fair and balanced trade and investment across our borders. None more obvious than the challenged relations between the United States and Turkey. To be clear, there are multiple elements at play: international security, civil strife,great-power competition, domestic politics and, yes, economics.  

At a time of challenges to the long history of cooperation and friendship between America and Turkey, the opportunity for the U.S. business community to show leadership is timely. It is for this reason that two of the most powerful advocates of that cooperation and friendship are joining forces.  

The merger between the American-Turkish Council (ATC) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s U.S.-Turkey Business Council (USTBC) will unite two of the leading organizations dedicated to the principals of economic integration and fair, reciprocal trade.

Through their integrated operations and programs, which build on each organization’s unique strengths, the merger will provide all member companies unparalleled access, advocacy and value to effectively influence the trajectory of U.S.-Turkey business and trade cooperation.

For nearly four decades, the vision that these two organizations have ascribed to has served as a critical platform to gather government and business leaders from both countries for the purpose of deepening the bilateral relationship. At a critical time, this merger will launch a new chapter in strengthening economic ties that extend to all aspects of society in both nations.

The combined strength of our actions and voices will be aided by the consolidation of resources and growth of programs that the new platform will produce, and it will be this foundation on which American and Turkish commercial relations will be anchored and thrive, strengthening business networks and coming together to tackle the challenges between two countries.

The future will belong to the savvy trader and should be based on fair and reciprocal relations that reflect American values of reaping what you sow and minimizing manipulations and fallacy, which proclaim that trade and commerce can be based on anything but free market economies.

Howard Beasey is CEO of the American Turkish Council.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.