Trump doubles steel & aluminum tariffs on Turkey

11 August, 2018, 23:12 | Author: Gerard Cortez
  • Greek lieutenant Aggelos Mitretodis and noncommissioned officer Dimitros Kouklatzis were arrested in Turkey

President Donald Trump said in a tweet Friday that he would hit Turkey with additional tariffs, as their national currency continues to drop.

He also said it was wrong of the United States to try to bring Turkey into line with threats, a day after Trump doubled tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Turkey.

The move against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government also highlights the disconnect between Turkey and the U.S.as they fail to negotiate their way out of an array of conflicts.

On August 1 Washington announced sanctions against Turkey's justice and interior ministers, prohibiting U.S. entities and citizens from doing business with them, after threatening to impose "large sanctions" if Ankara failed to free Brunson.

Turkey's embattled lira on Friday hit new record lows against the U.S. dollar and euro, losing over seven percent in value as strains with the United States showed no sign of abating and fears grew over the exposure of European banks. Trump tweeted Friday morning.

On Friday Turkey made it clear Mr Erdogan had spoken on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin after the latest USA tariffs, with the two men "expressing pleasure" that relations were progressing "positively". "Washington feels that President Erdogan is moving out of the USA orbit, and has raised the issue of religious missionaries that is Turkey and is accused of collaborating with the people in the coup".

"This is a domestic and national struggle", Erdoğan said, according to The Associated Press.

But Erdogan vowed there would be no easing of the law in Brunson's case, saying: "We have not made concessions on justice so far, and we will never make any".

"The markets have lost confidence in the triumvirate of President Erdogan, his son-in-law as finance minister and the Turkish Central Bank's ability to act as it needs to", said Charles Robertson, global chief economist at Renaissance Capital.

Turkish newspaper Hurriyet and other media reports quote Erdogan as making the comment to a group of worshippers following traditional Muslim Friday prayers during a visit to the northern city of Bayburt.

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As the currency weakens, it can make foreign investors pull their money out of Turkish stocks and bonds as their lira investments lose value.

The Turkish lira hit a record low of 6.24 per dollar on Friday, before recovering to 5.92 _ still down a whopping 7 per cent on the day.

"Don't forget, if they have their dollars, we have our people, our God", he said. This situation has led the European Central Bank to sound alarm bells warning that Turkey's currency problems could infect Europe's banks.

Erdogan urged Washington to give up the misguided notion that bilateral relations could be "asymmetrical" and realise that Turkey had alternatives "before it is too late".

"Aluminum will now be 20 percent and Steel 50 percent".

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 and a close ally of the United States.

Independent analysts argue the central bank should instead raise rates to tame inflation and support the currency.

Erdogan, who says a shadowy "interest rate lobby" and Western credit ratings agencies are attempting to undermine Turkey's economy, said Turks should exchange their gold and dollars into lira to help the currency. "This will be my nation's response to those who have declared an economic war", Erdogan said during the rally. Hard currency debt issued by Turkish banks suffered similar falls. Inflation increased 16 percent in July, and Erdogan has insisted that interest rates not increase. Trump said on Twitter.

Aylin Ertan, a 43-year-old caterer in Ankara, said she was concerned over the future of her small business.

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