Turkey Counterpunches By Raising Tariffs On U.S. Goods

Samantha Lee  Business Insider

Even though a meeting between National Security Adviser John Bolton and Turkey's USA ambassador on Monday yielded no public progress, the White House is now leading the talks with Turkey over Brunson's release and a host of other issues that have dragged down the alliance.

Asked how the Trump administration would react to any such Turkish boycott, Sanders replied during Tuesday afternoon's briefing, "I certainly don't have a policy announcement on that at this point".

The Trump administration announced plans last week to double United States tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Turkey.

The standoff between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies has escalated quickly since Trump slapped sanctions on the interior and justice ministers on 1 August, following that move with tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports last week.

The decree will raise tariffs on American auto imports by 120-percent, alcohol by 140-percent and tobacco by 60-percent.

Erdogan on Tuesday said Turkey would boycott USA electronic goods like iPhones, even though he has himself been photographed repeatedly using the product himself. Although no further detail on the length and implementation of the boycott was provided, but significantly, the transcript of Erdoğan's speech on the Turkish presidency's website omitted the boycott announcement.

"It definitely would make sense to own gold now in Turkey given the depreciation of the lira", Jonathan Butler, precious metals strategist at Mitsubishi Corp U.K. Plc, said by phone.

"In other countries, there has been reaction to United States attacks", said Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin.

Brunson, who has lived in Turkey for over two decades, is accused of aiding the network of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, blamed by Erdogan for masterminding a failed coup in 2016.

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A second appeal to release an American pastor held in Turkey was rejected Wednesday, his lawyer said, even as Turkish courts ordered the release of two Greek soldiers and a senior human rights official.

He said that was likely to happen by the end of business on Wednesday.

"The U.S. administration must respect the judiciary process in Turkey, they need to stop trying to influence Turkish judiciary by making statements and putting pressure", stated Kalin.

Turkey and Qatar have traditionally maintained good ties and Ankara stood by Doha after Saudi Arabia and other Arab states severed diplomatic, trade and travel ties with Qatar previous year, accusing it of financing terrorism, a charge Doha denies.

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, the state television TRT reported.

"We've already seen settlements in national currencies between Russian Federation and the BRICS", he said, referring to the bloc that also includes Brazil, India, China and South Africa.

The country said it is willing to hold talks with the USA over the matter.

Turkey has urged the U.S.to halt its support for Kurdish YPG fighters or risk confronting Turkish forces on the ground in Syria.

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