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Trump piles on Turkey, imposes higher metal tariffs
August 11, 2018
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WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump intensified his spat with Turkey on Friday by imposing higher tariffs on metal imports, putting unprecedented economic pressure on a Nato ally and deepening turmoil in Turkish financial markets.

Criticising the state of the US relationship with Ankara, Trump announced on Twitter that he had authorised a doubling of duties on aluminum and steel imported from Turkey, making them 20 per cent and 50 per cent respectively.

The White House said Trump would use a section of US law that allows for tariffs on national security grounds to impose the increased duties.

Even before Trump’s announcement, President Tayyip Erdogan told Turks to exchange gold and dollars for lira in order to fight “an economic war.” Waves from the crisis spread abroad, with investors selling off shares in European banks with large exposure to the Turkish economy.

“I have just authorised a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!” Trump said in an early morning post on Twitter.

Turkey’s Trade Ministry on Friday said additional steel and aluminium tariffs announced by Trump were against the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). “Turkey expects other member countries to abide by international rules,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that it would support steel and aluminium exporters in all international platforms. It said the United States remained an important trade partner.

Washington and Ankara have been at odds for months over an American pastor detained in Turkey, the Syrian civil war and other diplomatic issues.


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