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Iraq throws Turkey curveball in bilateral trade

Baghdad’s recent restrictions on imported goods have badly bruised Turkey’s food exporters, calling into question the target of $20 billion in bilateral trade.

Turkish exporters are reeling from an unprecedented blow in trade with Iraq that has splashed cold water on Ankara’s hopes to launch a second border crossing with its southern neighbor and boost bilateral trade to $20 billion. 

In a series of steps since May, touted as an effort to promote domestic production, the Iraqi government has restricted food imports from Turkey, including in major categories such as eggs and beverages. Turkey’s business community suspects that there are political factors behind the move, including the role of non-market actors harming competition, pressure from companies linked to the ruling partners in Baghdad and the influence of Iran.

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