The U.S. ambassador to Turkey David Satterfield said that his country's companies will consider abandoning the Turkish market if the latter fails to fully pay the debt payments to American pharmaceutical companies.
Reuters quoted the U.S. ambassador in Ankara David Satterfield as saying: "Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his son-in-law, Minister of Treasury and Finance Berat Albayrak, promised to pay off its late debts immediately a year ago, but Ankara did not fulfill its obligations to repay its debts of $ 2.3 billion."
Satterfield said in a trade conference that was broadcasted on the Internet that there will be consequences for not paying the debts owed by Ankara, as Turkey demanded that the American pharmaceutical companies accept big discounts on the amount owed on them.
Satterfield added: "The companies will think about leaving the Turkish market or reduce the supply of their goods in the Turkish market, and this trend does not serve Turkey's interests."
The Turkish government is seeking to conclude a free trade agreement with the United States to help diversify its exports and increase bilateral trade to $ 100 billion out of $ 21 billion last year, but relations between the two countries have been strained in recent years after Ankara bought S-400 air defense missiles from Russia, and refused to release an American pastor in 2018.
The Turkish budget deficit has expanded significantly over the past two years, as the currency crisis of 2018 was followed by the outbreak of the Corona virus in March of this year, which prompted the government to sharply increase spending to boost economic growth.
As for the Turkish authorities imposing more control over social media, Satterfield said that American media companies may end up leaving the Turkish market, after the ruling Justice and Development Party, led by Erdogan, passed a law through Parliament that makes it more accountable.