Turkey increases tariffs on some U.S. imports

Muriel Colon
August 15, 2018

Turkey doubled tariffs on some USA imports including alcohol, cars and tobacco on Wednesday in retaliation for US moves, but the lira rallied further after the central bank's liquidity moves had the effect of supporting the currency.

Erdogan said his country will boycott USA -made electronic goods amid a diplomatic spat that has helped trigger a Turkish currency crisis.

"If they have iPhone, there is Samsung on the other side".

Kadir Temiz, an global relations expert at Istanbul Sehir University, said the US-Turkey crisis was an opportunity to step up Sino-Turkish relations.

The evangelical pastor is accused of terrorism charges and aiding the network of a USA -based Islamic preacher blamed by Ankara for masterminding a coup attempt in July 2016 against Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.

There was a clear, sharp drop in the lira's value on Friday after Trump tweeted he was doubling tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum, citing a national security threat, and a smaller decline when the US sanctioned Turkey's Interior and Justice Ministers on August 1.

The dispute between the US and Turkey has started an economic crisis in Turkey that has pushed its currency to historic lows.

On Monday, Mr Erdogan reiterated his view that the currency's crash had no economic basis, saying USA sanctions imposed on Turkey over the terrorism trial of the pastor, Andrew Brunson, represented a "stab in the back" by a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally.

Turkey accuses Brunson of espionage and is holding him under house arrest pending his trial.


Hovenier also noted that the U.S.is demanding the resolution of several other USA citizens' cases, including NASA astronaut Serkan Golge, convicted of being a member of a terrorist organization in February "without credible evidence", according to the State Department, and of three Turkish citizens who work for the US mission and have been detained for months.

Last week, Washington imposed sanctions and raised tariffs against Ankara over the continued detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson.

Turkey on Wednesday said it was hiking tariffs on imports of several key U.S. products in retaliation for American sanctions against Ankara, as a bitter dispute between the two allies that sent the Turkish lira into freefall showed no sign of ending.

Erdogan has said Turkey is the target of an economic war, and has made repeated calls for Turks to sell their dollars and euros to shore up the currency.

The currency TRYTOM=D3 has lost almost 40 percent against the dollar this year, driven by worries over President Tayyip Erdogan's growing influence on the economy and his repeated calls for lower interest rates despite high inflation. They also said Turkey should work to resolve the situation with the United States diplomatically while also improving relations with another major trading partner, the European Union. "In our country we have Venus and Vestel", he said, referring to a Turkish-made phone made by electronics manufacturer Vestel. Speculation is also growing that Turkish policy makers will heed calls from corporate and banking executives to raise interest rates to stem the rout.

The United States and Turkey also have diverging interests over Syria, which is enmeshed in a protracted civil war.

FILE - Russian S-400 air defense missile systems are on display during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, May 7, 2017.

Turkey's weakened currency, the lira, plunged by more than 20% in response to those United States sanctions.

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