Economy

Turkey doubles tariffs on some U.S. goods amid rising tensions

Turkey doubles tariffs on some U.S. goods amid rising tensions

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends a news conference in Ankara, Turkey, August 14, 2018.

Ankara has sharply increased tariffs on certain U.S. imports, some of them more than double, in response to Washington's "deliberate attacks" on the Turkish economy amid a widening dispute between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

The lira´s fall had raised fears Turkey was on the verge of a fully-fledged economic crisis, especially in its banking system, that could spill over into Europe and other markets.

"The import duties were increased on some products, under the principle of reciprocity, in response to the US administration's deliberate attacks on our economy", Vice President Fuat Oktay wrote on Twitter.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned Turkey's ministers of Justice and Interior in response to the continued detention of the pastor, who has lived in the country for 20 years and heads an evangelical congregation of about two dozen people in the port city of Izmir.

Turkey has raised tariffs on some United States imports, including passenger cars, alcohol, tobacco, the country's Official Gazette said on Wednesday. Tariffs were also increased on goods including cosmetics, rice and coal.

Under the decree, Turkey will also raise tariffs to around 100 percent on imports of some other products.

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A boycott of US electronics goods was proposed by Erdogan on Tuesday, who is accusing Washington of waging a targeted economic war on his country.

He also made his now famous speech on the night of the July 2016 failed coup calling citizens out into the street through FaceTime, an iPhone app.

But many analysts say the only way for the authorities to show they are really serious about tackling Turkey´s economic problems - which include inflation approaching some 16 percent - would be a sharp rate hike.

The punitive measures pushed Turkey's currency lira into freefall and rattled the country's financial markets.

However, severe changes in the value of the currency calmed Tuesday after news that USA national security adviser John Bolton had met with the Turkish ambassador to Washington Monday.

The president is due to meet with the emir of gas-rich Qatar, one of Turkey´s very closest allies on Wednesday.

The lira firmed as far as 5.75 against the dollar on Wednesday and stood at 5.9350 at 0745 GMT in a move initially triggered by a Turkish court decision to release two Greek soldiers facing espionage charges.


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