By  on October 1, 2013

NEW YORK — Negotiating a free-trade agreement with the U.S. is vital to lift Turkey’s exports here, which have fallen to about $450 million from $2 billion a decade ago.

Confident an agreement will come about in the next two years, Hikmet Tanriverdi, chairman of the Istanbul Textile and Apparel Exporter Associations, or ITKIB, led a trade mission to New York last week as part of the plan to boost Turkey’s textile and apparel industry overall and revive business with American retailers and brands. The goal, he said, is to improve sales of Turkish brands abroad and increase sourcing activity for factories in the country.

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