US-Turkey relations enter crisis mode as Trump doubles tariffs

US-Turkey relations enter crisis mode as Trump doubles tariffs

Donald Trump doubles Turkey tariffs ‘against World Trade Organisation rules’ as lira falls by 20%

US President Donald Trump imposed higher tariffs on metal imports from Turkey, sending the country’s lira currency to a new record low.

Trump doubled the U.S. tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports to 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively. Due to this harsh move, the Turkish currency lira has lost around 20% of its value in the last 24 hours. It had already fallen more than 40% in the past year.

In a tweet, Mr Trump said the currency was weak against “our very strong dollar”, adding that “US relations with Turkey are not good at this time”.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech that the drop was part of a “campaign” led by foreign powers.

Unilateral steps taken by the U.S. only harm its interests and security, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday in an article he wrote for The New York Times.

“At a time when evil continues to lurk around the world, unilateral actions against Turkey by the United States, our ally of decades, will only serve to undermine American interests and security,” Erdogan said in the article.

The Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement that “The United States should know that the only result that such sanctions and pressure will bring… will be harming our relationship as allies.”

Turkey is the eighth-largest steel producer in the world and the sixth-largest steel exporter to the US. Turkish steel exports to the US stood at $1.1 billion last year.

Turkey is also a key NATO ally to the United States, but the countries’ bilateral relationship has become quite strained.

Turkish diplomats visited Washington this week to address frictions between the NATO allies fueled by Ankara’s detention of U.S. consular staff, as well as Brunson, but no breakthrough was announced.

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