Turkey doubles tariffs on some USA imports; lira rallies

Marcus Newton
August 16, 2018

Tariffs were also doubled on goods such as cosmetics, rice and coal.

Turkey has doubled tariffs on some United States imports - such as passenger cars, alcohol and tobacco - in what Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said was a response to deliberate USA attacks on the Turkish economy.

Turkey's national currency, the lira, has tumbled by almost 40% against the U.S. dollar so far this year.

Turkey's currency, the lira, bounced back sharply Wednesday morning, falling back below six per dollar.

Erdogan has reacted to the financial instability by blaming foreign powers, in particularly the United States, a longtime North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, which he says is waging an "economic war" as part of a plot to harm Turkey.

Last Friday, US President Donald Trump said he had authorised higher tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Turkey.

As President Recep Tayyip Erdogan intensified a diplomatic feud with his US counterpart Donald Trump with a spate of new import tariffs, the nation's banking regulator published new rules that have so far succeeded at lifting the lira off record lows. He suggested Turks would buy local or Korean phones instead, although it was unclear how he meant to enforce the boycott.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has found a benefactor to help pull Turkey from the brink of a financial crisis as Qatar promised to invest US$15 billion in the country.

Pekcan said, according to the report, "the United States is an important trading partner, but it is not our only partner".

"Turkey, a longtime North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ally, has been caught between the West and Russian Federation".

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The United States on Wednesday ruled out removing steel tariffs that have contributed to a currency crisis in Turkey even if Ankara frees a US pastor, as Qatar pledged $15 billion in investment to Turkey, supporting a rise in the Turkish lira.

The lira gained some respite on Tuesday, recovering to trade at around 6.50 to the dollar at 1502 GMT, supported by steps by the central bank to ensure liquidity and measures by Turkey's banking watchdog to relieve markets.

Turkey is now in the middle of a severe financial crisis with the collapse of its currency in recent days.

In a Wednesday phone conversation with Erdogan, the German chancellor expressed her country's commitment to strengthening its cooperation with Turkey through reciprocal visits at the highest levels, Turkey's Anadolu Agency quoted presidential sources as saying.

Qatar's banking sector has considerable exposure to Turkey, whose currency has lost almost 40 percent this year.

Hurriyet newspaper said the court in Izmir rejected the appeal, but that a higher court would review the appeal.

President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have repeatedly urged Turkey to release Brunson, with the US levying sanctions against two Turkish ministers over his detainment.

Mr Brunson has denied charges of espionage, but faces up to 35 years in jail if found guilty.

On Monday, the United States president signed a defense authorization act that notably prohibits the delivery of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft to Turkey if it buys Russia's S-400 air defense system.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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