September 10, 2019 / 9:53 AM / 2 months ago

U.S.-China trade war an opportunity for Turkey: Turkish minister

FILE PHOTO: A Chinese man adjusts a China flag before a news conference attended by Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing September 5, 2012. REUTERS/Feng Li/Pool

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey sees opportunity to boost trade with the United States amid Washington’s trade war with Beijing, the Turkish trade minister said on Tuesday, reinforcing an ambitious goal of quadrupling the bilateral trade to $100 billion a year.

“We have determined that the issues between the U.S. and China will create a significant opportunity for trade in various sectors,” Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan told a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

“We have expressed to the U.S. side our readiness to provide goods,” she said.

Pekcan added that trade and investment would be the main topic when U.S. President Donald Trump and Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan meet during the United Nations General Assembly later this month in New York.

On Saturday, Turkey asked the United States to lift trade barriers during talks aimed at sharply increasing bilateral commerce.

Washington and Ankara’s goal of $100 billion in trade a year comes despite the prospect of U.S. sanctions over Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems. The United States says trade with Turkey totaled $24 billion in 2017, with the U.S. surplus standing at $1.5 billion.

The White House said in May it was ending a preferential trade agreement with Turkey, saying Turkey’s level of economic development meant it was no longer eligible for the support.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Jonathan Spicer

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