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The UN's Global Compact on Refugees, adopted late last year, floats the possibility of trade arrangements that incentivize local businesses to hire refugee labor. A trade deal between the EU and Turkey that grants access to European markets for agricultural goods produced in Turkey with a threshold level of Syrian labor could prove beneficial for both parties — and for millions of displaced Syrians.

Syrian displaced people in the flooded Deir al-Ballut refugee camp in Afrin's countryside, along Syria's northern border with Turkey, Feb. 11. Photo: Rami Al Sayed/AFP via Getty Images

Background: Eight years into the Syria crisis, the conflict shows no sign of ending. More than 3.5 million people have sought safety in Turkey, which now hosts more refugees than any other country in the world. The likelihood that they will be able to return home in the near future is low.

Where it stands: Turkey already has a customs union with Europe, but it covers only manufactured goods. Expanding the arrangement to cover agricultural products could open up new opportunities for refugees to join the workforce. Agreements between the EU and two other refugee-hosting countries, Jordan and Lebanon, could prove useful (if imperfect) models for how to engage the private sector in such an endeavor.

The bottom line: How Turkey fares at integrating newcomers will bear significantly on the wellbeing of millions of people and the trajectory of consequential migration flows.

Jessica Brandt is a fellow in the foreign policy program at the Brookings Institution. Kemal Kirisci is director of the Center on the United States and Europe's Turkey Project at Brookings.

Go deeper

Biden to raise refugee admissions cap to 125,000

Afghan refugees arrive at Dulles International Airport after being evacuated from Kabul. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Biden administration will raise the refugee admissions cap to 125,000 for the next fiscal year beginning in October, the State Department confirmed in a statement Monday.

Why it matters: The move comes as the U.S. contends with resettling tens of thousands of Afghan refugees stateside, and as the world faces "unprecedented global displacement and humanitarian needs," the department wrote.

Wall Street's wobble disrupts record stock market boom

People walk by the New York Stock Exchange earlier this month. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Monday interrupted a stretch of calm amid the historic stock market boom underway since March 2020.

Driving the news: Jitters were apparent nearly everywhere.

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First Texas doctor sued for performing abortion in violation of new law

Abortion rights activists march to the house of US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in Chevy Chase Maryland, on Sept. 13, 2021, following the court's decision to uphold a stringent abortion law in Texas. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

A San Antonio physician is facing a lawsuit after he admitted performing an abortion considered illegal under Texas' new law.

Why it matters: The civil suit, filed by a convicted felon in Arkansas, against Alan Braid is the first such suit under the law that allows private citizens to sue anyone who helps a pregnant person obtain an abortion after six weeks.