Turkey hits back at United States with tariff hikes on key products

Andrew Cummings
August 17, 2018

The U.S. dollar has risen against major currencies for several months, with the dollar index.DXY up almost 8 percent over the last four months.

The lira's fall had raised fears Turkey was on the verge of a fully-fledged economic crisis, especially in its banking system, that could spill over into Europe and other markets.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly described the dispute with the United States with as an "economic war" that Ankara will win.

The Turkish government doubled its tariffs on imports of American cars and alcoholic beverages to 120 and 140 percent, respectively, CNN reported.

The Turkish lira was up 4% against the United States dollar following the conference call and after reassuring words from the French president, Emmanuel Macron, and Germany's chancellor, Angela Merkel, that Turkey's stability was important.

USA pastor Andrew Craig Brunson, escorted by Turkish plainclothes police officers, arrives at his house on July 25, 2018, in Izmir.


The White House said Wednesday that the United States "won't forget" how Turkey treated Andrew Brunson, the detained American pastor, after a court rejected his appeal for release.

Erdogan has repeatedly described the crisis as an "economic war" that Turkey will win.

The US and Turkey are also embroiled in a bitter row over the role of Turkish bank Halkbank in skirting sanctions against Iran. "The tariffs are specific to national security", she said.

Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak hosted a conference call with global investors on Thursday in a bid to reassure them that policymakers are able to tackle a dip in the Turkish lira.

Ankara acted amid increased tension between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies over Turkey's detention of a pastor and other diplomatic issues, which have helped to send the lira tumbling to record lows against the dollar.

The Turkish currency was trading at 5.85 at 1740 GMT, more than 1 percent stronger on the day. However, the currency remains volatile, with no signs of interest rate rises to combat high inflation and an overheating economy.


"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.

"The US is our major trade partner but it's not the only one", Pekcan, the trade minister, was quoted as saying by the official Anadolu news agency.

According to the Turkish presidential press office, Erdogan and al-Thani also exchanged views on bilateral relations and regional developments during their three-hour meeting. "We have other partnerships and alternative markets".

He's lived in Turkey for more than 20 years and is accused by the Turkish government of terrorism and spying.

Earlier on Wednesday, Erdogan spoke on the phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Turkish presidency.


Other reports by iNewsToday

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