White House denounces Turkey tariffs on United States products

Muriel Colon
August 17, 2018

Mr. Trump is taking issue with the continued detention in Turkey of Andrew Brunson, an American evangelical pastor who faces 35 years in prison on charges of espionage and terrorism.

"Every product that we buy in foreign currency from outside, we will produce them here and sell overseas", Erdogan said in a speech, according to The New York Times.

In response to Trump's tariffs, Turkish officials said they will impose a 50 percent tax on USA rice, 140 percent on spirits, 60 percent on tobacco and 120 percent on cars while increasing duties on a variety of other goods. Turkey has accused Brunson of backing a coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan two years ago.

President Erdogan said earlier this week that Turkey should not "give in to the enemy" by investing in foreign currencies.

Trump said the United States had helped Turkey in a related incident, but that the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally had not repaid the favor.

"The president has a great deal of frustration on the fact that Pastor Brunson has not been released as well as the fact that other USA citizens and employees of diplomatic facilities have not been released", Sanders said at a White House briefing Tuesday. "Not fair, not right", he added.

A Trump tweet on Friday announcing a doubling of aluminum and steel tariffs for Turkey triggered the rout in the currency markets.

MSCI's benchmark emerging stocks index ended the week on a slightly calmer note, up 0.2%, and snapping a seven-day losing streak on tentative optimism that US-Sino relations may improve with the scheduling of the first trade talks since June.

The move by Turkey's Gulf ally offered further support to a lira rally after the Turkish central bank tightened liquidity and curbed selling of the currency.

When Mr Kilic sought to tie conditions to Mr Brunson's release, Mr Bolton waved them aside and said there would be no negotiations.

"Commodities weakening tells us [investors] aren't overly optimistic on the rebound potential of China", said Matthew Miskin, market strategist at John Hancock Investments.

Investor attention was focused on a conference call which Finance Minister Berat Albayrak will hold at 1300 GMT to reassure global investors.

"Turkey has taken advantage of the United States for many years", Trump tweeted. "They are now holding our wonderful Christian Pastor, who I must now ask to represent our Country as a great patriot hostage".

In reality, a number of issues have come between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, not least Turkey's plan to purchase the Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft weapons system.

Erdogan has remained combative towards Trump's economic decisions, vowing to boycott USA products such as the iPhone.

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