U.S. envoy David Satterfield verbally offered Turkey a new trade package and F-35 jets, Turkish media outlets reported, without citing anyone.
The verbal offer on Friday includes the sale to Ankara of a Patriot missile defense system and lower tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium, Haberturk newspaper reported on Tuesday. Media also reported that the U.S. may unveil a new economic package to boost bilateral trade to $100 billion from about $19 billion.
A written version of the offer is expected to be sent to the Turkish government, according to Haberturk. The U.S. Embassy didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may meet this week on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Any such offer would be a departure from the penalties Washington has recently imposed on Ankara as strains between them mount. The U.S. locked Turkey out of a program for advanced F-35 fighter jets to punish it for buying Russian S-400 missiles that Washington says could compromise intelligence gathered by American aircraft, instead of Patriots. Turkey, meanwhile, is shopping around for alternatives to the F-35 that could draw it even closer to Moscow.
Turkey and the U.S. are also at loggerheads over how far to push American-backed Kurdish forces away from the Turkish border with Syria. Ankara views the Kurdish YPG fighters as enemies because of their links to the separatist PKK group Turkey has battled for decades.
The Turkish media report is also at odds with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross’s observation two weeks ago during his visit to Turkey that negotiations for a possible trade deal haven’t even started. Ross also said the 25% tariff on Turkish steel doesn’t present a differential hardship for the country.