Trump doubles steel, aluminum tariffs on Turkey in ‘economic war’

Trump doubles steel, aluminum tariffs on Turkey in ‘economic war’

Without naming any country, Erdogan said that those - who stand against Turkey for the sake of small calculations - would pay the price.

The announcement accelerated the sell-off of Turkey's lira currency, already battered by worries about President Tayyip Erdogan's influence over the central bank.

The two governments have been at odds over a wide range of topics - from diverging interests in Syria, to Turkey's ambition to buy Russian defence systems, and the case of evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson, who is on trial in Turkey on terrorism charges.

On Friday, US President Donald Trump announced to double steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey, saying relations between Washington and Ankara "not good" as tensions mount between the two countries.

Ties between Turkey and the USA started breaking down after a coup attempt in July 15, 2016, allegedly staged by Pastor Fethullah Gulen, who now lives in the United States under protection of the government as a U.S. citizen.

Erdogan appeared to indicate that the entire alliance between Turkey - which joined North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in 1952 with strong American backing - and Washington was at stake. "You prefer a pastor to a strategic ally of yours in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation".

The White House said Mr Trump had authorised them under a section of United States trade law that allows for tariffs on national security grounds.

But investors are concerned about the country's monetary policy.

"The aim of the operation is to make Turkey surrender in all areas, from finance to politics", Mr Erdogan said. Take them immediately to the banks and convert them into liras.

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He said there were also no plans for a meeting with U.S. officials on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in NY next month, which both Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Trump are due to attend.

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

Speaking in the north-eastern province of Rize, Erdogan said that dollars, euros and gold were now "the bullets, cannonballs and missiles of the economic war being waged against our country".

The U.S. was the top destination for Turkish steel exports in 2017, which were worth $1.1 billion.

"Failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies", Erdogan said.

"I call out to those in the United States".

"Relations with countries who behave like this have reached a point beyond salvaging", said Erdogan, who warned of "economic war". Trump's "jubilation in inflicting economic hardship on its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey is shameful", Zarif wrote on Twitter. "The U.S. has to rehabilitate its addiction to sanctions & bullying or entire world will unite-beyond verbal condemnations-to force it to", Zarif wrote.

Iran has also suffered a major tumbling of its currency this year partly over the reimposition of United States sanctions after Trump abandoned the 2015 nuclear deal.

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