Donald Trump announces 'doubling' of tariffs on steel, aluminum from Turkey

Donald Trump announces 'doubling' of tariffs on steel, aluminum from Turkey

Donald Trump said Friday his administration had doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey, imposing a 20 percent duty on aluminum and a 50 percent levy on steel.

Earlier on Friday, Trump ramped up his attack on Turkey by doubling U.S. tariffs on Turkish aluminium and steel imports to 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

Mr Erdogan also wrote in the New York Times that unless the U.S. changed course, Turkey would look for new friends and allies. The Treasury Department announced fresh sanctions on two Turkish government officials in response to Turkey's refusal to let Brunson go. Thus, Trump's tweet suggests that any country that enters a time of economic turmoil - and consequently, sees the value of its currency fall - is a fair target for punitive trade actions by the United States.

Erdogan has cast the recent slide in the lira as a war and without naming countries said supporters of a failed military coup two years ago, which Ankara says was organized by a USA -based Muslim cleric, were attacking Turkey in new ways since his re-election two months ago.

The lira tumbled about 10 per cent on Friday to another record low as investors worry about Erdogan's unorthodox economic policies and USA sanctions. "This is a national, domestic battle", he said.

Erdogan on Friday once again urged Turks to exchange gold and dollars into lira to stop the currency from plunging.

If not, rumours about possibly imposing capital controls on global transfers and even a potential IMF assistance program will continue to grow and likely lead to further pain for the Turkish Lira.

"The basic reason the exchange rate has gone off the rails is that confidence in the management of the economy has disappeared both domestically and overseas", said Seyfettin Gursel, a prominent economist and a professor at Turkey's Bahcesehir University.

The ripple effects of Turkey's spiraling currency crisis was felt globally as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 fell 0.8% and 0.5%, respectively, following Trump's tweet.

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Now at a new record low, Turkey's currency has lost more than 40% this year.

Erdogan has cast the sell-off in the currency that has followed the trade row as an economic war and an attempt to undermine Turkey's economy. There wasn't much Eurozone data released over the past week but the few reports we had were far from impressive as factory orders and industrial production in Germany tumbled.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turks should not be alarmed by exchange rate movements.

Tensions between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies also flared in May 2017 after Erdoğan's personal security forces attacked demonstrators protesting his visit to the Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C. Inflation increased 16 percent in July, and Erdogan has insisted that interest rates not increase. "It is a national fight", he told a crowd in the northeastern city of Bayburt. "Turkey's awkward diplomatic relations with the west, and the USA in particular, also need to be addressed and remain a deep concern for foreign investors".

The Brunson dispute triggered the collapse in the Turkish currency as investors feared USA financial sanctions. "Don't heed them. Don't forget, if they have their dollars, we have our people, our God", Erdogan said.

Far worse than that, though, is this has also sent Turkey's currency on a downward spiral that threatens to destroy its entire economy.

The latest escalation came as Turkey's Economy Minister Berat Albayrak, who is Erdogan's son-in-law and a trusted lieutenant, unveiled what was touted as a new economic plan, pledging Central Bank independence, tighter budget discipline and sustainable and healthy growth.

Erdogan said Turkey is not afraid of outside "threats".

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