Terms of Reference
The United States-Turkey business Council
A. The United States-Turkey Business Council (the “Council”) is designed to facilitate the exchange of information and encourage bilateral discussions of business and economic issues, including promoting bilateral trade and investment and improving the business climate in each country.
B. The Council is intended to bring together the respective business communities of the United States and Turkey to discuss such issues of mutual interest and to communicate their joint recommendations to the U.S. and Turkish governments.
C. These “Terms of Reference” are intended to provide a general framework to guide the activities of the Council and its subsidiary bodies.
II. Organization of the Council
A. The Council consists of:
(1) two Co-chairs, on the United States side, the International Trade Administration of the United States Department of Commerce, represented by the Under Secretary for International Trade or his delegate, and on the Turkish side by the Undersecretariat of the Prime Ministry for Foreign Trade, represented by the Undersecretary for Foreign Trade or his delegate. The Co-chairs and/or their respective delegates are authorized to convene and chair meetings of the Council;
(2) two Sections of private sector members, a U.S. Section and a Turkish Section, each of which shall have approximately 10 to 12 members, representing the views and interests of their respective private sector business communities; and
(3) a Committee, consisting of the U.S. and Turkish Sections.
B. Each Co-chair is responsible for appointing the private sector members of its respective Section according to the domestic laws, policies, rules and regulations in force in its respective country, and advising the other Co-chair of the persons appointed in advance of any person's participation in any Council activities. Each Co-chair is to appoint its own Section’s chairperson (the "Section chairpersons"). In Council meetings, the Committee is to be limited to the appointed members; delegates, substitutes, or alternates are not to be designated.
C. It is intended that private sector members be senior-level executives of private-sector companies that have demonstrated a strong interest in business and economic cooperation between the United States and Turkey. Private sector members should represent a diversity of sectors, be able to offer a broad perspective and business experience to the discussions, and be capable of addressing crosscutting issues that affect the entire business community. To the extent possible, private-sector members also should represent a cross-section of small, medium- and large-sized firms. Section members serve at the discretion of the Co-chair that appointed them. The term of Section membership is expected to be two years, but a Co-chair may re-appoint a Section member.
III. Activities of the Council
A. It is intended that the Committee provide joint recommendations to the Co-chairs that reflect private-sector views, needs, and concerns regarding creation of an environment in which the private sectors of both countries can partner, thrive, and enhance bilateral commercial ties that could form the basis for expanded trade and investment between the United States and Turkey. All such recommendations should be provided by the Committee through the Council, and the Committee may meet separately from the Council to develop joint recommendations. Each Section may also meet separately from the Committee as may be necessary.
B. The Co-chairs are to convene meetings of the Council, as necessary, to receive joint recommendations from the Committee. The Council is expected to meet at least once a year, alternating between Washington, DC and Turkey. The Council is to conduct its activities on the basis of mutual agreement and may, as necessary, adopt procedures to guide its activities. The Council is to meet at times and places determined by the Co-chairs in consultation with the Section chairpersons. In consultation with the Section chairpersons, the Co-chairs are to establish a specific agenda for each meeting of the Council. Prior to each Council meeting, and in consultation with the Co-chairs, the Committee members are to work together to prepare a joint report for the Co-chairs listing its joint recommendations. The Co-chairs in turn present these recommendations during meetings of the United States-Turkey Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation (the “Framework”) to provide input and guidance to the Framework’s co-chairs on ways to strengthen the economic and commercial ties between the two countries.
C. The Section chairpersons are to organize Committee meetings, teleconferences, and exchanges involving both Turkish and U.S. private-sector members, in order to develop the joint report listing the Committee’s joint recommendations. The Co-chairs may request the Committee to prepare additional reports. The Section chairpersons are to be responsible for ensuring that the views of each Section are fully conveyed within the Council. Any report of the Council should be produced in the Turkish and English languages.
D. The Section chairpersons may oversee the formation of working groups focused on specific sectors or issues. Each working group must consist of both U.S. and Turkish private-sector members and is to provide joint recommendations to the Committee focused on the specific sector or issue which it was formed to address.
E. The Co-chairs are responsible for the administrative operations of the Council. It is anticipated that the Co-chairs will provide at least one person from a relevant agency or department of each government to work with the Section chairpersons to arrange organizational and other matters in connection with the meetings of the Council. The Co-chairs and Section chairpersons should finalize agendas for the Council meetings not later than one week prior to the meeting.
F. Private-sector members are to serve without compensation for their participation in any Council activities, including meetings of the Committee and relevant Section. They shall not be considered as special government employees. Travel and related expenses associated with private-sector members' participation in any Council activity are to be borne by the private-sector members themselves. Activities of the U.S. and Turkish governments under these Terms of Reference are subject to the availability of appropriated funds and to the respective legislation and regulations in force in the United States and Turkey.
IV. Terms of Reference
A. These Terms of Reference may be modified by written agreement of the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Undersecretariat of the Prime Ministry for Foreign Trade of Turkey at any time.
B. These Terms of Reference are not intended to create any legal obligations under domestic or international law.
Under Secretary for International Trade of the United States
Undersecretary of the Prime Ministry for
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