Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Trump doubles metal tariffs on Turkey as lira falls by 20%

Turkish delegation returns home after meeting in US Trump vows to double steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey
Faye Gross | 13 August, 2018, 12:00

President Tayyip Erdogan told Turks on Friday to exchange gold and dollars into lira, with the country's currency in free fall after President Donald Trump turned the screws on Ankara by doubling tariffs on metals imports.

He also said it was wrong of the USA to try to bring Turkey into line with threats, a day after Trump doubled tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said his country will seek "other friends and allies" around the world if the United States continues to take measures against Turkish government officials.

The tariff for steel imported from Turkey will now be 50 percent. The U.S. exported $9.75 billion worth of goods-mostly cotton, scrap iron, steel, civilian aircraft parts, coal, and petroleum gases-to Turkey, and imported $9.42 billion worth of goods from them.

The Turkish lira dropped dramatically against the dollar Friday, losing more than 18 percent of its value in one day - worsening an already months-long decline for Turkey's currency.

"If there is anyone who has dollars or gold under their pillows, they should go exchange it for liras at our banks".

Concerns over Turkish President Erdogan's tight grip on the countries monetary policy, failed plans to release an American citizen held in Turkey, and shifts in global power prompted the continued plunge of the Turkish economy.

Turkey remains at loggerheads with the United States in one of the worst spats between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies in years over the detention for the last two years of American pastor Andrew Brunson and a host of other issues. "It is a national fight", Erdogan said.

Turkey's currency has nosedived amid concerns about the country's economic policies and its dispute with the US. Since then, Trump and US Vice President Mike Pence have repeatedly called for his release, while Ankara has said the decision is up to the courts.

Trump OKs stiffer tariffs on Turkish metals as lira plummets
Independent analysts argue the central bank should instead raise rates to tame inflation and support the currency. Last week, he called on Turks to convert their foreign currency and gold into Turkish lira to help the currency.


On Saturday, Erdoğan urged Turks to help support the lira to win what he described as a "war of independence". -Turkish tensions are threatening a financial crisis in Turkey.

He said high foreign exchange rates were being used as a weapon against Turkey.

It did not disclose details, but suggests Turkey might gravitate further away from its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies towards co-operation with Russian Federation, whose relations with the West are at their lowest since the Cold War. "Don't worry", Erdogan told a crowd in the northeastern city of Bayburt.

Brunson is now on trial in Turkey for espionage and terror-related charges linked to a failed coup attempt in the country two years ago.

Analysts have warned that rising U.S. Trump's Friday tweet caused a further drop in the Turkish currency.

The nominally independent central bank has defied pressure over the last few weeks to hike interest rates in the face of high inflation and the collapsing currency.

A statement from the Kremlin said the two leaders discussed economic and trade ties.

Markets are deeply concerned over the direction of domestic economic policy under Erdogan with inflation at almost 16 percent but the central bank reluctant to raise rates in response.

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