Daily Management Review

'More Tariffs On Steel And Aluminum Against Turkey Threatened By Trump


An announcement of increasing of import duties on steel and aluminum from Turkey was made by the US President Donald Trump on Friday showing once against his strategy of using tariffs as a foreign policy tool. The two countries are at logger heads over the imprisonment of an American citizen in Turkey.
"I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!" Trump tweeted. "Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%."
He added: "Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!'
About a week ago, the US had imposed sanctions against Turkish officials in relation to the imprisonment of American pastor Andrew Brunson and his detention was termed as "unjust" and "unacceptable" according to a statement from the Trump administration.
The earlier sanctions were aimed against Turkey’s Minister of Justice, Abdulhamit Gul, and Minister of Interior, Suleyman Soylu. Althoughnot intended, the first round of sanctions have presumably put under pressure Turkey’s currency libra which fell on Friday on fears of a broader US economic sanctions against the country. 
Trump's latest decision to hike up tariffs will push Turkey’s economy "into more difficult waters", said Bulent Aliriza, an expert on Turkey with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank.
Trump "has authorized the preparation of documents" to raise steel and aluminium tariffs on Turkey,, said White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters. The new sanctions were based on a section of the U.S. trade law that allows penalties "on imports from particular countries whose exports threaten to impair national security."
Reacting to Trump’s Friday announcement, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was defiant in his reaction.
“We will not lose the economic war,” Erdogan said during a tour of Black Sea provinces, as reported by the Hurriyet Daily News. “This is a national struggle."
U.S. companies and consumers would be hurt by Trump’s decision, said Ruhsar Pekcan, Turkey's trade minister.
“Turkey is deeply disappointed by the U.S. Administration’s decision to double steel and aluminum tariffs. The tariffs were groundless when they were announced in June, and remain so now," Pekcan said.
"We implore President Trump to return to the negotiating table – this can and should be resolved through dialogue and cooperation,” the trade minister added.
Erdogan would gain in the short term because of Trump's move as the Turkish president would be able to stoke up existing anti-American sentiment in Turkey, Aliriza said. "It's difficult to be optimistic" about the two countries arriving at a solution to bring down the standoff and bringing down the scale of tensions between them, he said. 
It was just days ago that Turkey’s deputy foreign minister was had visited and held meeting with counterparts in Washington on a range of issues that also included the detention of Brunson.
No details of the meetings were provided by the State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.
"Obviously you all know that we have a very broad relationship with Turkey and a host of issues that we talk about with the Turkish government whenever we do meet," Nauert said Thursday. "Yesterday we had a wide-ranging conversation with Turkish government officials.  We made it clear that Pastor Brunson needs to be returned home.  Much of this, though, we’re not going to negotiate in public."

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