- Trade with Turkey

Turkey readies to export pomegranates to US

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Trade with TurkeyAfter six years of efforts, US authorities are close to giving the green light to pomegranate imports from Turkey, a senior US official told Today's Zaman over the weekend.

Turkey applied to US authorities back in 2007 to export pomegranates and has been awaiting a response ever since. Ankara also applied to export peaches, watermelon and chili peppers to the US in July of 2011. Observers believe the approval of pomegranate exports to the US will pave the way for other types of produce from Turkey to enter the giant market. US imports of produce are estimated to have exceeded $19 billion last year.

During a visit to Ankara last week, the administrator of the US Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), Suzanne Heinen, told Today's Zaman that she expected the approval for pomegranate imports from Turkey to be finalized soon. "Pomegranates are becoming increasingly popular in the US and we hope Turkish products will have a share in this market," she stated, citing lengthy procedures and checks for the delayed approval.

Turkey and the US are celebrating the 200th anniversary of the commencement of agricultural trade between them this year. Participating in a program in Ankara to develop trade ties, Heinen said the US would also like to sell livestock to Turkey.

There remains an imbalance in Turkey's agriculture trade with the US. Turkey imported agricultural products worth $1.14 billion last year, while exports to this country totaled $540 million.

Original article from Today's Zaman