Turkey will boycott U.S. electronic goods over sanctions, says Erdogan

15 August, 2018, 13:21 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • The Borsa Istanbul stock exchange

Tariffs have also been increased on goods such as cosmetics, rice and coal.

Turkey on Wednesday announced tariff hikes on a range of US goods in the latest back-and-forth move amid a deteriorating relationship between the two countries.

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday Turkey would boycott electronic products from the United States, retaliating in a row with Washington that helped drive the lira to record lows.

Explaining the new tariffs, Turkish Vice-President Fuat Oktay said the rises were ordered "within the framework of reciprocity in retaliation for the conscious attacks on our economy by the United States administration".

The lira's plunge - which had been ongoing for weeks - was turned into a rout on Friday when US President Donald Trump tweeted that Washington was doubling aluminium and steel tariffs for Turkey.

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The government announced the tariffs "under the principle of reciprocity", following sanctions imposed by Washington over the detention of an American pastor, which has sent the lira tumbling to record lows against the dollar.

Turkey's ambassador to Washington Serdar Kilic on Monday held talks with US National Security Advisor John Bolton in a meeting that Cavusoglu said was arranged by the White House. "If you are going to park your money somewhere to stay away from the turmoil, the dollar is going to be the currency of choice", he said.

The US decision is another salvo in the growing dispute between Turkey and the US.

Turkey and the USA are now experiencing rocky relations following Washington's imposition of sanctions on Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul for not releasing Brunson. The Turkish currency has lost about 40 percent of its value this year against the US dollar.

In a televised speech earlier, the Turkish President called on citizens to exchange foreign currency and gold for lira, calling it an "economic war". They also said Turkey should work to resolve the situation with the United States diplomatically while also improving relations with another major trading partner, the European Union.

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Raising interest rates is needed to calm markets and stem the lira's sell-off. Although the lira won a small respite on Tuesday, investors say measures taken by the Central Bank on Monday to ensure liquidity fail to address the root cause of lira weakness.

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Erdogan has said Turkey needs to find "new friends" because of the row with the its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally.

Visiting Ankara, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the Trump administration of abandoning diplomacy for "sanctions and blackmail".

"We (also) have our Venus and Vestel", he said about homegrown Turkish electronics brands.

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