Trump's decision to double tariffs on Turkey 'brutal'

11 Août, 2018, 09:22 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
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Still, the sell-off may not be over after the government struck a defiant tone on Friday even after Trump's move.

Aluminium will now be 20 per cent and Steel 50 per cent.

This is double the level the president imposed on a range of countries earlier this year, including European Union member states.

Turkey's embattled lira on Friday hit new record lows against the U.S. dollar and euro, losing over seven percent in value as strains with the United States showed no sign of abating and fears grew over the exposure of European banks.

To understand how all of these pieces fit together, we'll start with some basic facts about trade between the United States and Turkey.

According to figures from the Turkish Government, for the period of 2002 to October 2017, Turkish direct investments in the United States reached $3.7 billion while USA investments in Turkey amounted to $11.1 billion, second only to the Netherlands' 21.6 billion.

Trump intensified the alarm on financial markets with his new tweet doubling the tariffs, noting for good measure the lira was sliding "rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!". But Turkey would undoubtedly sustain much more damage, with its large companies and banks struggling to pay for borrowing in foreign currency and short-term money - vital to its economy - being scared away.

Alan Madison, a spokesman for Borusan Mannesmann's USA subsidiary, said the company and its Turkish parent were still studying Trump's new proposal and declined to comment further.

Meanwhile, investors are anxious about the economic policies of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who won a new term in office in June with sweeping new powers.

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Marcus Chenevix, Middle East analyst at TS Lombard said that Turkey's economy is fragile. But some investors fear the Turkish economy is growing too quickly and could face problems.

Erdogan has been putting pressure on the central bank not to raise interest rates in an attempt to help borrowers. Inflation increased 16 percent in July, and Erdogan has insisted that interest rates not increase.

He appeared to blame foreigners for trying to hurt Turkey, saying: "This will be my people's response against those waging an economic war against us".

The Turkish president on Friday dismissed such concerns and called for people to defend the currency.

Image: Donald Trump claimed 'relations with Turkey are not good at this time!' U.S. stocks were also rattled. Relations between the United States and Turkey have been weakening for several reasons.

Turkey has accused Andrew Craig Brunson of spying and "committing crimes on behalf of terror groups without being a member".

Donald Trump's administration hit its justice and interior ministers with sanctions last week, a reaction to the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who has has been held for almost two years over alleged links to political groups.

According to the Washington Post, Mr Trump and Mr Erdogan agreed on a deal that would release Mr Brunson and, in exchange, Turkish national Ebru Ozkhan would be released by Israel. Gultekin hopes that some sort of compromise between Turkey and the United States can be reached, enabling Erdogan to have an "honourable exit" and come up with a substitute for the International Monetary Fund stabilisation programmes of previous crises.

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