A proposed bill that will grant the right to free trade between Turkish and Native Americans was approved by the US Congressional Committee on Natural Resources this week.
The H.R. 2362, Indian Tribal Trade and Investment Demonstration Project Act was introduced on June 24 by representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, who is the only enrolled member of an Indian American tribe in Congress and also co-chairs the Native American Caucus.
The bill was proposed following tremendous efforts made by Cole and the head of the Turkish Coalition of America (TCA), Lincoln McCurdy, who recommended that Turkey with remarkable economic progress can make valuable contributions to the Native American economy.
Cole answered questions regarding the reasons behind the act, saying that "Turkey has demonstrated great interest in improving economic, political and cultural relationships with Native Americans and is the first country to attend our annual summit this year."
The interest of Turkish companies and their strengths in the construction sector will help the growth of the economy and create jobs for Native Americans. The projects will be entirely funded by private enterprises and ensures no cost to the US government.
The proposed bill authorizes the secretary of the interior to select up to six Indian tribes to participate in the act, which allows participating tribes to lease land held in trust for them by the federal government without the secretary's approval but the lease has to meet certain conditions before approval and it has a term of 25 years.