Trump doubles tariffs on Turkey, stoking jitters

Alicia Cross
August 12, 2018

The Nasdaq composite was down more than 0.8 percent as technology stocks also dropped.

The currency is down about 40 percent so far this year.

Additionally, on Friday President Donald Trump tweeted that he is increasing tariffs on USA imports of Turkish of steel and aluminum.

Donald Trump took to Twitter yesterday to boast about the value of the dollar against the lira.

"Before it is too late, Washington must give up the misguided notion that our relationship can be asymmetrical and come to terms with the fact that Turkey has alternatives".

Erdogan promised supporters that Turkey was taking the necessary precautions to protect its economy but added "the most important thing is breaking the hands firing these weapons". Financial upheaval risks further destabilizing an already volatile region.

In addition to the steep drop in the Turkish Lira, which effectively reduces the impact of the tariffs, the USA has so far been unsuccessful in persuading Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to release US pastor Andrew Brunson.

Trump tweeted on Friday that he would be doubling existing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Turkey.

When the lira crashed, Iran threatened Mr Trump and said that the "entire world would unite" and use "force" the United States to scrap the sanctions.

Turkey and the United States have been at odds after Washington imposed sanctions last Wednesday on two Turkish ministers over the continued detention of US pastor Andrew Brunson.

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A delegation of Turkish officials held discussions with their counterparts in Washington this week but there was no sign of a breakthrough.

Graphic: Emerging market currencies slide.

On Thursday Ergodan said Turkey will withstand the economic pressure. "This is a national, domestic battle", he told a crowd in the northeastern city of Bayburt.

This is a very bad rationale for hiking tariffs on a country's exports.

"These are the bullets, cannonballs and missiles of an economic war waged against our country", he said.

In an opinion piece in the New York Times, he warned the us that Ankara had other alternatives as allies.

Turkey, home to the Incirlik air base which is used by USA forces in the Middle East, has been a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member since the 1950s. "Don't heed them", Erdogan said.

On June 21, Turkey's retaliatory tariffs went into effect on 4 to 70 percent of more than $1 billion worth of USA goods. I am calling on those in America again.

"Shame on you, shame on you", he said, directing his remarks at Washington. Gulen denies the allegation.

In relation to this latter dispute, Turkey's continued detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who was jailed 21 months ago in a widespread crackdown over a failed coup in Turkey, has increase hostility between the nations. "It could serve as a template for further tariff actions against China if the renminbi depreciates further relative to the dollar, even if that depreciation were mainly a reflection of the relative strength of the USA and Chinese economies".

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