Higher US tariffs on steel imports from Turkey take effect

Posted August 14, 2018

Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have repeatedly called for his release, while Erdogan has said the USA should respect Turkey's judicial process.

Trump said the tariffs on aluminum imports would be increased to 20 percent and those on steel to 50 percent as the Turkish Lira "slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!"

"President Trump on Friday doubled steel tariffs on Turkey as its government battled the currency collapse".

As the tariffs will take effect immediately, a lot of Turkish steel exporters and United States importers could be hurt, as there are steel cargoes on the way to the U.S. and some cargoes waiting to be shipped, an S&P Global Platts report said citing Turkish industry sources.

The 2 governments have been at odds over a wide range of topics from diverging interests in Syria, to Turkey's ambition to buy Russian defense systems, and the case of evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson, who being heald Turkey on terrorism charges.

Turkey's lira plunged as much as 14 percent on Friday as worries about President Tayyip Erdogan's influence over monetary policy and worsening U.S. relations snowballed into a market panic that also hit shares of European banks.

The president is "not happy with Turkey's decision not to release Pastor [Brunson]", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.

Turkey exported about 500,000 tons to the U.S.in the five months to May, compared with more than 1 million tons in the same period past year, according to data from the U.S. Census bureau.

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Although Mr Erdogan struck a defiant tone, his foreign ministry called for diplomacy and dialogue to solve problems with the US.

Even before Trump's announcement, President Tayyip Erdogan told Turks to exchange gold and dollars for lira in order to fight "an economic war".

The lira fell further as Erdogan spoke.

Erdogan on Friday appealed for calm and called on people to change foreign money into local lira. The currency has fallen more than 40 percent against the dollar this year, according to data provider FactSet. The euro sagged to a 13-month low against the dollar on concerns that European banks operating in Turkey could suffer losses.

"Those who think they will make us kneel via economic manipulation do not know us at all", he said.

Albayrak gave a presentation to business leaders in Istanbul promising structural reform, economic re-balancing, and "sustainable and healthy growth".

Independent analysts argue the central bank should instead raise rates to tame inflation and support the currency.

Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak on Friday also vowed sustainable and healthy economic growth as well as "strong struggle" against inflation, which now stands at close to 16 percent.

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