Trump doubles steel, aluminum tariffs on Turkey in ‘economic war’

Casey GreeneAug 13, 2018

As the currency continued to fall, United States President Donald Trump announced on Friday he had doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on his North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally before admitting that relations between Washington and Ankara were "not very good". The White House has since confirmed the tweet.

The White House said Mr Trump had authorised them under a section of U.S. trade law that allows for tariffs on national security grounds.

"Section 232 tariffs are imposed on imports from particular countries whose exports threaten to impair national security as defined in Section 232, independent of negotiations on trade or any other matter", Lindsay Walters added.

President Donald Trump on Friday tweeted that he had authorized the doubling of steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey.

Following the announcement, the Turkish lira also hit record lows at 20 percent to the dollar, in the midst of a financial panic about the country's economic health.

And the Brunson case is just one of many bones of contention between Turkey and the United States, ranging from Syria to Ankara's increasingly cosy relationship with Moscow.

The U.S. was the top destination for Turkish steel exports in 2017, which were worth $1.1 billion.

On Thursday Ergodan said Turkey will withstand the economic pressure.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday the current level of the lira and fluctuations in the exchange rate could not be explained by logic, and its recent plunge showed a plot against Turkey.

Turkey is facing a deepening economic crisis, as the Lira fell sharply by about 22% in Friday's early morning trading and the yields on government debt rose further, said a press statement by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) on Friday, adding that doubling the tariffs applied to Turkish aluminium and ssteel coincide with the Turkish delegation's failure to reach a compromise with the U.S. authorities.

Relations between Turkey and the US have been tense over a range of issues, from the Syrian conflict to the imprisonment of American pastor Andrew Brunson.

Brunson was arrested in October 2016 on charges of being an American spy and terrorist complicit in the failed coup attempt against Erdogan in the summer of 2016. United States stocks were also rattled.

"It is wrong to dare bring Turkey to its knees through threats over a pastor", Erdogan said. Also, Turkey halted purchase of overpriced F-35 fighter jets and is considering 'other solutions'.

Differences over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Erdogan's strongman-style governance, and Ankara's growing intimacy with Moscow have further made the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies drift apart, according to analysts.

Turkey's spat with the United States has further weighed on the lira.

The Turkish Defense Ministry announced earlier that Turkey would ditch the US Patriot ground to air missiles in favor to Russian S-400 defense system, which pretty much hints on who this "new ally" might be.

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