Erdogan says US 'wrong' to threaten Turkey after Trump doubles tariffs

Screen Shot 2018 08 10

Screen Shot 2018 08 10

U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to double tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports fails to make economic sense, an expert told Anadolu Agency on Saturday.

Trump on Friday intensified his spat with Turkey on Friday by imposing higher tariffs on metal imports, putting unprecedented economic pressure on a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally and deepening turmoil in Turkish financial markets.

Mr Trump is also declaring that "Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!".

Turkey has vowed to retaliate, but its currency has steadily weakened, removing some of the bite of the tariffs by making Turkish goods cheaper for USA consumers.

The lira tumbled 14 percent in one day, to 6.51 per dollar, a massive move for a currency that will make the Turkish poorer and further erode worldwide investors' confidence in the country.

Turkey is also frustrated at US unwillingness to extradite Turkish cleric Fetullah Gulen, who Erdogan accuses of staging a failed 2016 coup attempt.

"Nevertheless, we implore President Trump to return to the negotiating table - this can and should be resolved through dialogue and cooperation", he added.

"I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!"

Edward Price, a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer who retired from the CIA refusing to work for the Trump administration, said the administration, in order to bring back Brunson, should fill the vacant US ambassador's post in Turkey instead of levying tariffs that will ultimately have to be borne by Americans.

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

As he spoke, the lira fell further - adding to worries about the country's financial stability.

Brunson was charged with involvement in a failed coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government in 2016.

Turkey delivers just 4 percent of steel mill imports, valued about $1.18 billion a year ago, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. "This is a domestic and national struggle".

"If you have dollars, euros or gold under your pillow, go to banks to exchange them for the Turkish lira".

Berat Albayrak, Turkey's treasury and finance minister, sought at a news conference Friday in Istanbul to ease investor concerns about Turkey's econom. This will be my people's response to those who have waged an economic war against us'.

Erdogan, a self-described "enemy of interest rates", wants cheap credit from banks to fuel growth, but investors fear the economy is overheating and could be set for a hard landing. As the currency drops, Turkish companies and households with debt in foreign currencies see the cost of repaying those loans expand.

The lira hit a record low of 6.24 per dollar on Friday, before recovering to 5.92 - still down a whopping 7 per cent on the day.

The new set of economic steps are aimed at securing an economic growth of 3-4 percent in 2019, and decreasing the inflation rate to single digits, the Ministry of Treasury and Finance said in a press release on August 9.

"We are moving forward with the project, but believe that imposing a tax on pre-existing orders is unjust, especially considering the specific materials we purchased overseas were not readily available in the U.S.", Willie Chiang, Plains' chief operating officer, said on Tuesday.

But analysts say that while there may be losses at some banks, Turkey's economic problems do not pose a big threat to Europe or other big economies like the United States.

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