United States media criticizes Trump's tariffs decision on Turkey

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Trump vows to double steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey

Washington in response sanctioned two Turkish ministers, and Trump on Friday tweeted it was doubling tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Turkey, adding that relations with Ankara were "not good at this time".

Mr Trump has insisted that Mr Brunson, who has lived in Turkey for more than 20 years, be released "without delay"; Mr Erdogan insists his government can not interfere with the judicial process.

Economist Chad Bown, who specializes in trade issues, said Turkey accounted for just over four percent of United States steel imports in 2017, but a very small fraction of the aluminum brought into the country.

"Do not worry!" He said Turkey was not afraid of "threats" and added Turkey had "alternatives" for economic cooperation in many places "from Iran, to Russian Federation, to China and some European countries".

The article, written by Eric Levitz, said the decision was related to Brunson, and while imposing a high tariff on a country's steel exports is not the most conventional way to secure his release, "it might prove an effective one".

Erdogan called on Turks to support the struggling Turkish lira by exchanging any foreign currency and gold, saying Turkey faced "an economic war".

The Turkish lira hit record lows against the dollar on Saturday as the country faces an "economic war" against the US.

Erdogan said that there were "various campaigns being carried out" against the country.

U.S. -Turkish tensions began to escalate last week, with Trump targeting two Turkish ministers with sanctions over the detention of U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan talks to media in the Black Sea city of Ordu, Turkey August 11, 2018.

"If they have their dollar, we have the people, we have Allah", he said, as the lira continued to fall.

Watch the lira trade in real time here.

The United States has increasingly used economic sanctions against foes such as Iran or North Korea but it is highly unusual for an administration to impose import tariffs over political or judicial issues with other countries.

Trump's tweet caused a further drop in the Turkish currency, which is now down 13 percent on the day.

"The Turkish Lira is in a state of crisis, as a result of investor confidence in Turkish assets remaining at alarmingly low levels", said Jameel Ahmad, Global Head of Currency Strategy & Market Research at FXTM.

In modern economies, central banks are meant to be independent of governments to make sure they set policies that are best for the economy, not politicians.

Turkey, home to the Incirlik air base which is used by USA forces in the Middle East, has been a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member since the 1950s.

Much of the tensions between the two countries centre on an American cleric, jailed in Turkey on terrorism charges.

An immediate "aggressive interest rate hike" was also needed, Mr Grier said, with something of the order of 1,000 basis points as seen in Argentina this year.

"Before it is too late, Washington must give up the misguided notion that our relationship can be asymmetrical and come to terms with the fact that Turkey has alternatives".

"President Erdogan's strengthened powers under the new presidential system have made it increasingly uncertain whether policymakers will be able to act to stabilise the economy", said William Jackson, chief emerging markets economist at Capital Economics in London.

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