Turkey's tariffs on U.S. imports amount to $553 million, trade minister says

15 August, 2018, 21:40 | Author: Corey Lynch
  • President Erdogan yesterday blamed “economic terrorists” for the nation’s woes

This tariff hikes came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's announcement on 14 August of a boycott on United States electronics goods, with Erdoğan advising explicitly against the purchase of iPhones, encouraging citizens to instead use Samsung and Turkish-made Vestel phones.

Stocks were weaker in most major Asian markets today, with Turkey's financial crisis showing little sign of abating as Ankara hiked tariffs on several United States goods in a tit for tat move. "If [the US] has the iPhone, there's Samsung on the other side", Erdogan was reported as saying.

President Erdogan has accused the U.S. of trying to "bring Turkey to its knees through threats over a pastor".

Ankara acted amid increased tension between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies over Turkey's detention of a pastor and other diplomatic issues, which have helped to send the lira tumbling to record lows against the dollar.

Neither the White House, Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs nor Apple immediately responded to a request for comment.

It was unclear whether Erdogan's call for Turks to sell dollars would be widely heeded, but a Turkish news agency said traders in Istanbul's historic Eminonu district converted $100,000 into lira on Tuesday.

The political and economic pressure from Washington caused the Turkish lira to collapse to a historic low against the United States dollar. Brunson is now on trial and held on house arrest, with few indications that Turkish officials intend to comply with the demands - despite US sanctions that were leveled against them two weeks ago. A court on Wednesday rejected an appeal for the release of Andrew Brunson from house arrest.

On August 10, Trump announced that his administration was doubling steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey.




White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the U.S. had seen "no evidence that Pastor Brunson has done anything wrong".

"We, as the Turkish Airlines, stand by our state and our people".

For one more time, Erdogan called on Turks to convert USA dollars into lira in order to "maintain the dignity" of the currency.

In a televised speech on Friday, he called on Turkish citizens to exchange foreign currency and gold for lira, calling it an "economic war".

Andrew Brunson has been at the heart of the ongoing fight after the US sanctioned two top Turkish officials for his continued detention, and Turkey's vow to retaliate, even as its currency plummets. Two Turkish business lobbies and the heads of two banks increased pressure on the government and central bank to act to stem a slide that saw the lira lose more than a quarter of its value in less than two weeks.

The report says that ASUS has rushed to reduce risk, quickly selling off its local store of products in Turkey in exchange for USA dollars.

A number of other Americans and Turkish employees of the USA diplomatic mission were also caught up in the post-coup crackdown.

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

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