Sunday, 19 August, 2018

Trump Doubles Tariffs on Turkish Steel, Aluminum Imports

Turkey fails to resolve disputes with US Turkish lira plunges as President Erdogan tells citizens to sell foreign currency amid 'economic war'
Russell Knight | 11 August, 2018, 03:14

Trump is also declaring that, "Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!". Trump said on Twitter.

'Aluminum will now be 20 percent and Steel 50 percent.

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters on August 9 that the United States would define progress in relations with Turkey with Brunson's return to the United States.

President Donald Trump said on Friday that he has authorised the doubling of steel and aluminium tariffs "with respect to Turkey".

Saying Friday Turkey faced "an economic war", Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged citizens to support the lira by exchanging foreign money for the local currency.

Trump's announcement saw the Turkish lira drop even further, crashing to a 19 percent daily loss against the greenback.

It all started with Turkey's own mistakes - or, more accurately, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's.

"There is zero credibility in the Central Bank of Turkey and zero credibility in Turkish policy making".

Brunson, a U.S. citizen and Turkish resident for over two decades, was arrested in Turkey on charges of terrorism and espionage.

The diplomatic tension and the failure of Turkish officials to persuade the United States to lift the sanctions plunged the lira to new lows this week. High level meetings in Washington between USA and Turkish officials ended this week without an apparent resolution.

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But President Erdogan brushed off any concerns during a speech in the northeastern city of Bayburt on Friday, saying: 'The dollar can not block our path. He said this would be Turkey's response "to those who wage economic war against us".

"The dollar can not block our path".

The move follows the failure of US-Turkish talks in Washington this week to release Pastor Andrew Brunson from house arrest in Izmir after he was jailed in 2016 on charges of espionage.

"I would say we would define progress as Pastor Brunson being brought home", Nauert said.

As well as the ongoing row with the United States, the recent sell-off in the lira has been fuelled by investor concerns over Erdogan's grip on monetary policy under a new powerful executive presidency. "Don't heed them", Erdogan said.

Erdogan, a self-described "enemy of interest rates", wants cheap credit from banks to fuel growth, but investors fear the economy is overheating and could be set for a hard landing.

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. "It is a national fight", he said.

Below is a daily chart of the US dollar against the Turkish lira spanning a time frame of one year. Hard currency debt issued by Turkish banks suffered similar falls.

Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak has vowed to execute Turkey's new economic model together with "all national and global stakeholders", while stressing that a "decisive" approach and the Central Bank's independence would be maintained. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite was down 83 points, or 1.1%, poised to end an eight-day winning streak.

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