Published: Sun, August 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Trump authorizes doubling of steel, aluminum tariffs on Turkey

Trump authorizes doubling of steel, aluminum tariffs on Turkey

The Turkish lira plunged on Friday, raising questions about the country's financial stability, as investors anxious about the president's unorthodox economic policies and a dispute with the United States that has led to sanctions.

The Turkish lira has always been falling on worries about Erdogan's influence over monetary policy and worsening relations with the United States.

On Friday, Turkey's currency, the Lira, fell as much as 14%, causing the global financial markets to shudder.

Bank shares across Europe fell and the euro slipped to its lowest since July 2017 as the Financial Times quoted sources as saying the European Central Bank was concerned about European lenders' exposure to Turkey.

The lira tumbled 14 percent Friday, to 6.51 per dollar, a massive move for a currency that will make Turkish residents poorer and further erode global investors' confidence in the country.

President Donald Trump broke the news on social media that he authorized the doubling of existing steel and aluminum duties on imports from Turkey.

The lira, Trump noted on Twitter, "slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!"

In the New York Times, Erdogan warned Washington not to risk its relations with Ankara, saying it would look for "new friends and allies".

"If they have the dollar, we have Allah", he said.

Turkey wants the USA to extradite cleric Fethullah Gulen, a Pennsylvania-based cleric who Turkish authorities say masterminded the coup attempt in which 250 people were killed.

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"We are preparing to trade in our local currencies with the countries that we have the largest trade volume such as China, Russia, Iran, and Ukraine". He also stressed that there are no politicians or countries around the globe that would succeed by pursuing a hostile policy towards Turkey.

Erdogan on Saturday repeated a call to Turks to help support the lira to win what he described was a "war of independence".

"Change the euros, the dollars and the gold that you are keeping beneath your pillows into lira at our banks".

Mr Trump has castigated Turkey for detaining American pastor Andrew Brunson, who is on trial for terrorism charges for allegedly associating with plotters of the failed 2016 coup against Mr Erdogan.

Mr. Erdogan says the coup was orchestrated from the United States, and specifically by a Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen, from his self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania.

Trump also threatened additional "large sanctions" against Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, for Brunson's detention.

The Canadian dollar weakened to a more-than two-week low against its US counterpart as geopolitical risk rattled global financial markets, offsetting stronger-than-expected domestic jobs data. -Turkish relations, on account of the States' demand for the release of Pastor Andrew Brunson from Turkish prisons where he has been detained since October 2016 and now is under home arrest.

But on Friday, there was another distinct element that made things worse: a tweet from President Trump.

"This could be the most expensive pastor in world history", Sekulow said, referring to the harm being done to Turkey's economy.

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