Turkey hits back at USA with tariff hikes on key products

Lloyd Doyle
August 15, 2018

Brunson is now on trial and held on house arrest, with few indications that Turkish officials intend to comply with the demands - despite US sanctions that were leveled against them two weeks ago.

Optimism about better relations with the European Union after a Turkish court released two Greek soldiers pending trial and a banking watchdog's step to limit foreign exchange swap transactions have also helped the lira.

Meanwhile, Turkey has also decided reject a US appeal calling for the release of an imprisoned American pastor. Brunson's lawyer told Reuters that the appeal could be heard sooner that the usual three to seven days.

The court in the western city of Izmir ruled that Brunson, who faces 35 years in jail over terror and espionage charges, will remain under house arrest.

If Brunson is not released, the next escalatory measure by the U.S. would most likely be targeted sanctions on businesspeople with close ties to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

In retaliation, Turkey is now hiking tariffs on American cars to 120 percent and increasing duties on alcohol to 140 percent.

Turkey announced Wednesday that it is increasing tariffs on imports of certain USA products as a court denied an American pastor's appeal to be released from house arrest - both moves likely to escalate a feud with the United States that has helped trigger a currency crisis.

"Although China does not want to upset the U.S., it is in China's national interest to cooperate with Turkey, which is still a geo-strategically important country between Europe and Asia", he said. "Russian Federation is quite a capacious market for Turkish goods", said Yaroslav Lissovolik, Program Director with Russia's Valdai Discussion Club, a Moscow-based think-tank.

The promise of an investment package comes after Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani met with President Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara and as Turkey comes to terms with a collapse in the lira amid rising tensions with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally the US.

Although preference for Apple products is strong, their already high prices are curbing demand, Yavuz said adding that the boycott "is expected to reduce Apple's performance in the country in the upcoming quarters". It is not just Turkey's request.

Turkey's central bank on Monday announced it was ready to take "all necessary measures" to ensure financial stability after the collapse of the lira, promising to provide banks with liquidity.

President Trump has since intervened and called for the pastor's immediate release.

Lavrov, alongside Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, also declared, "We are at a turning point, without exaggeration, in world history" from dominance by a single power toward a multipolar environment.

CNN's Isil Sariyuce reported from Istanbul and Laura Smith-Spark wrote from London.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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