Trump is the first president to get Turkey right

Andrew Cummings
August 16, 2018

"But one could hardly say the same about Turkey's announced tariffs on American cars, alcohol, and tobacco".

The latest blow was sparked by sanctions imposed on Turkey by the Trump administration over the detention of Pastor Andrew Brunson, who was jailed for allegedly supporting a group that Ankara blames for an attempted coup in 2016.

Turkey retaliated with some $533 million of tariffs on some USA imports - including cars, tobacco and alcoholic drinks - and said it would boycott US electronic goods, singling out Iphones.

Tariffs were also increased on cosmetics, rice and coal.

Last Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump said he had authorised higher tariffs on aluminium and steel imports from Turkey.

Investors are anxious not only about Turkey's souring relations with the United States, a longtime North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, but also Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's economic policies and the country's high debt accumulated in foreign currencies.

On Tuesday, Erdogan announced that Turkey would boycott United States electronic goods, singling out iPhones.

Turkish officials said Erdogan spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron, during which the French president said Turkey's economic stability is important for France. Hours later Turkey's President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, issued retaliatory tariffs on the United States.

The lira rebounded some 8 per cent on Tuesday, helped by news of a planned conference call on Thursday in which the finance minister will seek to reassure worldwide investors.

After Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's appeal to boycott USA electronic products on Tuesday, Erdogan signed a decree to raise tariffs on some US imports including cars, alcohol and tobacco, state-run Anadolu agency quoted Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan as saying on Wednesday.

This has meant that commerce, even between two countries that don't use the dollar as their currency, tends to be conducted, at least in some roundabout way, in dollars.

She said the US was "monitoring the situation".

The lira, which has fallen nearly 40% against the dollar this year, rose 4.5% to 5.7TL on Thursday afternoon. "If they have the iPhone, there is Samsung", the Turkish president said.

But figures from the country's central bank suggest Turks are not rushing to heed his appeal.

In recent days, Qatari supporters of Turkey have begun a public campaign in Doha to change their riyals into lira in an attempt to shore up the plunging Turkish currency. She wouldn't be drawn on whether the Trump administration would respond. On Wednesday, a Turkish court in the Aegean province of Izmir, where Mr. Brunson is on trial, rejected the pastor's appeal to be released from house arrest.

Other reports by iNewsToday