President Trump Authorizes Doubling of Steel and Aluminum Tariffs on Turkey

President Trump Authorizes Doubling of Steel and Aluminum Tariffs on Turkey

Trump ramped up his attack on Turkey by doubling US tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports to 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

Washington is in a standoff with Ankara over the imprisonment and house arrest of American pastor Andrew Brunson.

Turkey imposed $266.5 million in tariffs against the United States in June, targeting American imports of coal, paper, walnuts, almonds, tobacco, whiskey and machinery, amongst other items.

Brunson, an evangelical Presbyterian from North Carolina, was jailed for allegedly supporting a group that Turkey blames for the failed coup. All week, the lira has been under pressure, which accelerated with the failure of diplomatic talks in Washington this week. "Repeated efforts to communicate to the U.S. administration that none of the stated criteria driving America's tariffs are applicable to Turkey have thus far proven fruitless", he said. Bookings to Turkey have gone up in recent months - although the exact cause is, of course, hard to say.

But Aykan Erdemir, of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said Mr Trump's tariffs announcement comes "at the worst possible time for Mr Erdogan" and fits with U.S. strategy to increase pressure on Ankara until Mr Brunson is released.

Investors piled into "safe" government debt, with German yields hitting three-week lows and the yield on the benchmark USA 10-year Treasury note falling to 2.88822 percent.

'This is a national, domestic battle.

Presenting the government's new economic model, he said the next steps of rebalancing would entail lowering the current account deficit and improving trust.

The Turkish president added that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation could lose an ally.

The Turkish president took aim at the U.S. in his address, claiming "some countries have engaged in behaviour that protects coup plotters and knows no laws or justice". He added that the country will continue to enjoy good economic relations with several major nations.

A delegation of Turkish officials held discussions with their counterparts in Washington this week but there was no sign of a breakthrough.

Erdogan's claim of a Western political plot against him sparked alarm in investors and prompted an acceleration in the currency sell-off.

Reuters Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, listens during a news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May in London, U.K., May 15, 2018.

The Turkish lira hit an all-time low against the dollar on Friday, and there are growing concerns that the country's economic troubles could spread to the eurozone.

Mr Erdogan told his followers to convert dollars and gold into lira to rescue the currency plunging to new all-time lows. This is a national struggle.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country is at war and will not lose.

Erdogan on Friday appealed for calm and called on people to change foreign money into local lira. It has fallen more than 46% in the past year.

The US may also be stuck on Turkish demands to waive or minimise a treasury fine on Halkbank, a Turkish state bank involved in a court case over violating US sanctions on Iran.

Kinder Morgan Inc, the second largest North American pipeline operator, had already ordered almost half of the specialized pipe needed for its Gulf Coast Express project from Turkish steel maker Borusan Mannesmann before the original tariff went into effect, spokeswoman Sara Hughes said.

Erdogan said Turkey is not afraid of outside "threats".

The Turkish president his indicated possible support from Beijing and Moscow, but analysts are skeptical, given the scale of support the Turkish economy needs. It had been billed as a state visit that would patch up frayed ties between two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies and potentially serve as a platform for Turkey to make overtures toward Europe after months of strained relations.

"There are historical and geopolitical reasons for limits with relations with Moscow, limits I think we've reached", said global relations expert Soli Ozel of Istanbul's Kadir Has University.

"It is hard to imagine how the United States and Turkey fix their relationship, which was already faltering, after this episode". "It may be not the best, but it is an option".