Published: Fri, August 17, 2018
Economy | By

White House denounces Turkey tariffs on U.S. products

White House denounces Turkey tariffs on U.S. products

"But one could hardly say the same about Turkey's announced tariffs on American cars, alcohol, and tobacco".

Washington's move came during an ongoing dispute over Turkey's holding of an American pastor for two years.

Turkey's lira has plummeted almost 40 percent this year due to concerns over Erdogan's growing influence on the economy.

Ankara's central bank took actions to reinforce the currency on August 15 and squeezed the Turkish lira's liquidity from the market. The currency picked up 6 percent and strengthened briefly at just under 6 to the dollar.

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said that the tariff hikes were ordered "within the framework of reciprocity in retaliation for the conscious attacks on our economy by the United States administration".

Turkey's biggest mobile phone importing companies have cancelled their iPhone orders as Turkish citizens join a move to boycott USA products.

The US doubled tariffs last week over Turkey's refusal to extradite a US pastor who is imprisoned there. Turkey's exports to the United States previous year amounted to $8.7 billion, making it Turkey's fifth-largest export market.

Turkey has meanwhile resisted pressure to release Brunson - who has been held for two years and is now under house arrest - with officials warning it could face further sanctions. A higher court is still to rule, his lawyer told Reuters.

Al-Thani's visit, the diplomat said, "will serve to confirm the close links between the Qatari and Turkish people and their common positions vis-à-vis the many challenges they face".

"The tariffs from Turkey are certainly regrettable and a step in the wrong direction".

The hikes were published in Turkey´s Official Gazette in a decree signed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has repeatedly described the crisis as an "economic war" that Turkey will win.

Turkey is hiking tariffs on imports of certain U.S. products in response to American sanctions on Ankara that caused the value of the lira to plunge, a decree published Wednesday said.

But the United States insists Andrew Brunson, a long-time Turkish resident who ran the tiny Izmir Resurrection Church, is "a victim of unfair and unjust detention".

The row with Washington has helped to drive the lira to record lows, with the currency losing more than 40 per cent of its value against the dollar this year, prompting central bank liquidity moves to support it.

"I am one hundred percent behind the boycott appeal", he said.

"Rates have gone up by 10 percent".

Following the Qatar news, the lira firmed briefly to 5.8699 from 6.04 to the dollar, before easing back to 6.0500 by 1658 GMT.

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