Higher US tariffs increase pressure on Turkish economy

Berat Albayrak will issue a new economic plan today

Turkey's Trade Ministry said Friday additional steel and aluminum tariffs announced by U.S. President Donald Trump violated the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) amid mounting tension between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

The lira has always been falling on worries about Mr Erdogan's influence over monetary policy and worsening relations with the United States.

Turkey's currency crisis spilled loudly on to the global stage Friday as other markets, including United States stocks, took at hit from concern about financial contagion to other countries and banks.

Iran has also suffered a major tumbling of its currency this year partly over the reimposition of United States sanctions after Trump abandoned the 2015 nuclear deal.

The lira has lost more than 40% this year.

Trump tweeted that the latest tariff decision came as Turkey's currency, the lira, "slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar". Following the tweet, Turkey responded by imposing duties on $1.8 billion in USA goods including coal and paper. The debt problem in Turkey is also a bad omen, and could pressure other emerging markets.

In an opinion piece in the New York Times, he warned the USA that Ankara had other alternatives as allies.

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

In a separate opinion piece in the pro-government newspaper Daily Sabah, Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Turkey's efforts to solve the crisis with diplomatic methods had been dismissed by the Trump administration, warning that "the USA runs the risk of losing Turkey" as an ally.

"Turkey expects other member countries to abide by global rules", the country's trade ministry said in a statement. Shame on you, shame on you.

"Don't forget, if they have their dollars, we have our people, our God", he said. Minutes before Ankara learned about the higher tariffs, the lira had already hit an all-time low of 6.87 against the dollar.

A meeting between senior diplomats from the two countries on Wednesday in Washington did not produce significant progress to ease tensions over the trial of U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson in Turkey on charges of supporting terrorism and espionage.

Erdogan replied that Turkey will not back down despite Trump's sanctions policy and said he would answer with mirror retaliation.

The new duties on Turkey are double the level Mr Trump imposed in March on steel and aluminium imports from a range of countries. But invoking national security is the only way to square Trump's policy with US law and WTO rules.

President Erdogan Saturday repeated a call to Turks to help support the lira to win what he described was a "war of independence". "Don't heed them", Erdogan said.

Erdogan Friday held telephone talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, discussing economic and trade issues as well as the Syria crisis.

"This could be the most expensive pastor in world history", Sekulow said, referring to the harm being done to Turkey's economy.



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