Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Turkey issues retaliatory tariffs on United States imports

Turkey Lira meltdown over Turkey US relations Turkey Lira Worsening relations between the US and Turkey have contributed to the lira's free-fall
| 15 August, 2018, 13:21

Tariffs were also increased on goods including cosmetics, rice and coal.

In 2017, the United States exported $9.7 billion dollars in goods to Turkey, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

USA sanctions against two Turkish ministers have sent the lira spiralling against the dollar, threatening a debt payment crisis for Turkish banks which have taken out billions in foreign currency loans.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is accusing the United States of waging a targeted economic war on his country, and on Tuesday he proposed a boycott of USA electronic goods.

Vice President Fuat Oktay wrote on Twitter that the increase in duties were in response to "deliberate attacks on our economy" by the U.S. administration.

On Friday, Turkey's Foreign Ministry (MFA) said Turkey would retaliate against the raising of steel and aluminium tariffs by the United States administration.

The United States has imposed sanctions on two Turkish ministers over the trial on terrorism charges of an American evangelical pastor in Turkey, and last week Washington raised tariffs on exports of Turkish aluminum and steel. But Sanders declined to say how the US government plans to apply more pressure on Ankara, which repeatedly has ignored calls from Trump and others to free Christian pastor Andrew Brunson.

Turkey's ambassador to the US, Serdar Kilic, tweeted comments from the US Chamber of Commerce which has warned that the tit-for-tat tariffs and boycotts "threaten both countries' economic interests and put at risk an alliance that has proven its value over decades".


Earlier this month, Erdogan ordered the assets of two U.S. officials frozen in retaliation for sanctions imposed on Turkey's justice and interior ministers over the U.S. pastor's detention. The Turkish currency has lost about 40 percent of its value this year against the USA dollar.

Erdogan has said Turkey is the target of an economic war, and has made repeated calls for Turks to sell their dollars and euros to shore up the currency.

"They are squeezing lira liquidity out of the system now and pushing interest rates higher", Cristian Maggio, head of emerging markets strategy at TD Securities.

The United States was the fourth largest source of imports to Turkey a year ago, accounting for $12 billion of imports, according to International Monetary Fund statistics.

The differences are drawing Turkey closer to Russian Federation, they key adversary of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation but a country supplying more than half of Turkey's gas.

"It is everyone's observation that the developments in foreign currency exchange have no financial basis and they are an attack on our country", Erdogan said.

Visiting Ankara, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the Trump administration of abandoning diplomacy for "sanctions and blackmail".

"The plunge in the lira, which began in May, now looks certain to push the Turkish economy into recession", Andrew Kenningham, chief global economist at Capital Economics, told Reuters.

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