The Turkish American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TACCI) hosted a high level program on the controversial subject of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

The panel consisted of Kemal Kirisçi, TUSIAD Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on the United States and Europe’s Turkey Project at the Brookings Institution; Dr. Hande Özsan Bozatlı, President of the Assembly of European Regions (AER); G. Lincoln McCurdy, President of the Turkish Coalition of America; and Ali Çınar, Vice President of the Turkish Heritage Organization.

Dr. Kirişçi emphasized the importance of the TTIP by saying that it will be the 21st Century playbook of trade”. Kirişçi argued that if Turkey is not part of this agreement, a bilateral free trade agreement between Turkey and the United States should definitely be considered to grow the economies of these countries.

Dr. Bozatlı had indicated that once fully implemented, TTIP would start benefiting the EU by raising their GDP 0.5% per year and as a regional and international player Turkey should not be excluded from this agreement .

Highlighting the importance of Congressional engagement in the eve of such important agreements, Turkish Coalition of America President McCurdy encouraged TACCI to take a leadership role in the Turkish American business community in building support for Turkey in Congress.

Turkish Heritage Organization Vice President Ali Çınar concluded the panel by highlighting the significance of this trade agreement and the important role the Turkish American community can play to inform and influence decision makers in Washington.  Çınar said that in order for Turkey to achieve its $2 trillion growth in exports by 2023 and become one of the top 10 economies, Turkey definitely needed to be included in this agreement.