Trump authorizes doubling of tariffs on Turkey's steel, aluminum

Mario Draghi

The lira tumbled 13% in one day, to 6.51 per United States dollar, a massive move for a currency that will make the Turkish poorer and further shake worldwide investors' confidence in the country.

Lapid's praise for Trump came after the USA president announced the doubling of steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey.

A favourable exchange rate though can't have harmed the situation: on Friday, the U.S. dollar would buy nearly six Turkish lira; at the end of January, it would have got you less than four.

"The surge in Turkish inflation, bond yields and the even more dramatic plunge in Turkey's exchange rate in 2018 suggest that the country could now be in danger of heading for a bust", Berenberg economist Carsten Hesse said.

Relations are also tense because of new U.S.

US lawmakers in both parties have expressed outrage in recent years as Erdogan expands his power over the Turkish government while purging political rivals and journalists.

"You will not make money at the expense of Turkish people".

Turkey remains at loggerheads with the United States in one of the worst spats between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies in years over the detention for the last two years of American pastor Andrew Brunson and a host of other issues.

Earlier this week, a Turkish delegation returned from Washington with no movement on the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who is under house arrest in Turkey over terrorism charges.

"Turkey expects other member countries to abide by worldwide rules", the country's trade ministry said in a statement.


The United States is the world's biggest steel importer. It has fallen more than 46% in the past year.

The tumble in Turkey's currency on Friday signaled deepening pessimism about the country's economy after months of market declines.

Washington has demanded the pastor's release and last month imposed financial sanctions on two Turkish ministers.

The slump is attributed to the tensions with the USA and concerns about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's control of monetary policy.

Erdogan said that there were "various campaigns being carried out" against the country.

But Aykan Erdemir, of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said Mr Trump's tariffs announcement comes "at the worst possible time for Mr Erdogan" and fits with U.S. strategy to increase pressure on Ankara until Mr Brunson is released. "Turkey is an important strategic partner militarily and economically".

"Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!" hewrote".

A statement from the Kremlin said the two leaders discussed economic and trade ties.

Erdogan and his newly appointed finance minister, Berat Albayrak, are due to speak at 2 p.m. local time Friday. As the currency drops, Turkish companies and households with debt in foreign currencies see the cost of repaying those loans expand. The predictable result is this has made inflation get out of control - it is up to 15.9 percent when they are supposedly trying to keep it to 5 percent - because the central bank has been so slow to raise rates, and, in fact, refused to do so at its most recent meeting.

Aylin Ertan, a 43-year-old caterer in Ankara, said she was concerned over the future of her small business. 'On some days, I end the day with a loss'.

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