Turkey slaps more tariffs on U.S. goods, escalating trade tensions

Turkey slaps more tariffs on U.S. goods, escalating trade tensions

Turkey slaps more tariffs on U.S. goods, escalating trade tensions

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan signed a decree Wednesday to raise tariffs on USA imports including cars, alcohol and tobacco.

Only one USA measure directly affects Turkey's economy: Trump's decision to increase tariffs on the import of Turkish steel and aluminum. The U.S. Department of Treasury sanctioned Turkey's Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gul and Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu in early August over their roles in Brunson's detention.

Doha has $20 billion worth of investments in Turkey, official figures showed last month, and Ankara is now one of the top exporters to the emirate.

Markets are concerned by Erdogan's influence over the economy and his resistance to interest rate increases to tackle double-digit inflation. The currency's climb followed retaliatory tariffs by Ankara against U.S. goods including rice, coal and cars.

Kalin said Erdogan would hold telephone conversations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel later Wednesday and with Emmanuel Macron of France on Thursday.

Brunson's lawyer, Ismail Cem Halavurt, told CNN on Wednesday that an appeal for Brunson's full release had been rejected. Ankara more than doubled the tariff on U.S. rice to 50%, increased the U.S. coal tariff to 14% from 10% and more than tripled the tariff on cars to 120%.

"We are the branch of a foreign textile company producing overseas in the greenback and sell in Turkish currency", he noted. The sanctions, she explained, would block "any property or interest in property of both ministers within US jurisdiction ... and USA persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them". "They are killing offshore lira liquidity to stop foreigners shorting the lira", he said.

Cash flow Turks change money at an exchange in Istanbul. The Turkish lira recovered slightly after previous days’ heavy losses
Cash flow Turks change money at an exchange in Istanbul. The Turkish lira recovered slightly after previous days’ heavy losses

The U.S. was the fourth largest source of imports to Turkey past year, accounting for $12 billion of imports, according to International Monetary Fund statistics. Turkey's exports to the United States previous year amounted to $8.7-billion, making it Turkey's fifth-largest export market.

On Wednesday a Turkish court rejected an appeal for Brunson to be released from house arrest and for his travel ban to be lifted but an upper court is yet to rule on the appeal.

Both the White House and State Department continued to express an uncompromising position toward Turkey on Tuesday, demanding that Ankara release US Pastor Andrew Brunson, whom it detained in October 2016, following July's abortive coup attempt.

Although preference for Apple products is strong, their already high prices are curbing demand, Yavuz said adding that the boycott "is expected to reduce Apple's performance in the country in the upcoming quarters".

Erdogan also renewed a call for Turks to convert their dollars into the lira, to help strengthen the currency.

The Eurasian country's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, announced on Tuesday that he would be calling for a boycott of all American electronics sold to the country's residents.

Many economic crises in emerging market countries like Turkey follow periods of domestic support for governments that focus on electoral gains and avoid unpopular economic reforms, and pressure on the Turkish lira is likely to persist if Turkish authorities shun decisive action, said Nafez Zouk, an analyst at Oxford Economics.

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