Economy

Turkey hikes tariffs on U.S. products amid escalating tensions

Turkey hikes tariffs on U.S. products amid escalating tensions

"We have stood together and will continue to do so", he said, making clear the high-level meeting was meant to communicate unequivocal support for Turkey at a critical juncture.

The lira's freefall began after President Donald Trump doubled tariffs on steel and aluminium on Turkey amid a bitter row between Washington and Ankara.

Asian stocks retreated to a one-year low on Wednesday as bearish Chinese markets worsened investor sentiment already hurt by Turkey's financial crisis.

Ankara's latest move follows President TrumpDonald John TrumpDems make history, and other takeaways from Tuesday's primaries Pawlenty loses comeback bid in Minnesota Establishment-backed Vukmir wins Wisconsin GOP Senate primary MORE's announcement last week that he will double tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Turkey until it releases USA pastor Andrew Brunson, who was arrested in 2016.

A Turkish court on Wednesday rejected a new appeal to free U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson, whose detention has sparked a major row between Turkey and the United States, local media reported. The tariffs that the United States placed on Turkey were out of national security interest.

In return, Erdogan signed a decree to raise tariffs on USA imports including cars, alcohol and tobacco. "Theirs are out of retaliation", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.

Ankara acted amid increased tension between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies over Turkey's detention of a pastor and other diplomatic issues, which have helped to send the lira tumbling to record lows against the dollar.

The lira was trading on Wednesday at 6.02 to the dollar, a gain in value on the day of 5.5 percent.

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Moves by the central bank to ensure Turkish banks have liquidity and a planned conference call by Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, who is Erdogan's son-in-law, on Thursday have gone some way to reassuring investors.

Turkish authorities have called on their citizens to sell their foreign currency in order to bolster the lira.

Mr Erdogan has accused the U.S. of trying to "bring Turkey to its knees through threats over a pastor".

On Wednesday, a Turkish court rejected his latest appeal to be released from house arrest.

"The US is our major trade partner but it's not the only one", Pekcan, the trade minister, was quoted as saying by the official Anadolu news agency.

President Erdogan said on Tuesday that Turkey was taking measures to stabilise its economy and should not "give in to the enemy" by investing in foreign currencies.

In the wake of the currency crisis, the Turkish president has held talks with French and German leaders, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel, on ways to promote bilateral ties.