US pharma firms might abandon Turkish market over failure to pay debts, ambassador warns

Reuters

The U.S. ambassador to Turkey said on Sept. 23 companies will consider abandoning its market if it fails to fully meet debt payments to American pharmaceutical firms, and he criticized a new Turkish law clamping down on big social media sites.

Addressing a trade conference streamed online, David Satterfield said debts owed by government hospitals to pharmaceutical companies in the United States and elsewhere had risen to around $2.3 billion from some $230 million a year ago.

Satterfield said U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had raised the issue with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak a year ago and was assured that arrangements would be made for prompt payment.

U.S. Ambassador to Turkey David Satterfield is seen in this file photo.

A year later those companies were being asked to accept significant reductions in the amounts owed, Satterfield said, adding there will be consequences for non-payment of debt or reductions in payment.

“Companies will consider departing the Turkish market or will reduce exposure to Turkish market. This is not a direction which serves the interests of Turkey,” he said.

Bilateral trade amounted to some $21 billion last year and the NATO allies have said they aim to lift that to $100 billion.

Yet there are hurdles including U.S. tariffs on Turkish steel, and Ankara’s purchase of Russian missile defences last year that prompted Washington to oust Turkey from a consortium producing F-35 jets.

At the conference hosted by the U.S.-Turkey Business Council on Sept. 22, Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said the steel tariffs and the removal of Turkey from a U.S. trade preference programme have damaged efforts to reach the trade goal.

“Such policies by the U.S. severely limit Turkish firms’ ability to enter the U.S. market,” she said.

Satterfield also voiced concern over a law adopted in July that Erdoğan’s party says will make mostly U.S. social media sites more accountable to Turkish authorities’ concerns over content. Critics say it will silence dissent.

“A policy that mandates large social media firms to store consumer data only in Turkey can create an inherently uneven playing field,” he said, adding it could ultimately compel U.S. firms to leave the market.

from Duvar English https://ift.tt/33ThNQj

About CHP EU Representation

The CHP was founded on 9 September 1923, about one and half month before the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. The first President of modern Turkey’s oldest party was M. Kemal Atatürk. Today CHP is a social-democratic party, member of the Socialist International and associate member of the Socialist Group at the European Parliament. The scope of the CHP bureau in Brussels is not limited to the bilateral framework of Turkey's EU accession process. Issues such as the information society, energy policies, social development, climate change, international trade and security are among the different focus areas. The EU-Turkey relations are about integration and need multiple, plural and horizontal channels of communication. The CHP supports and promotes Turkey's EU membership process also by being more present and active in Brussels The CHP's Representative to the EU is Ms Kader Sevinç who previously worked as an MEP advisor at the European Parliament and in the private sector.
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