Turkey increases tariffs on some US imports amid escalating feud

Turkey increases tariffs on some US imports amid escalating feud

Tariffs were also increased on goods including cosmetics, rice and coal.

But on Wednesday the lira rallied 6 percent to below 6.0 against the greenback, boosted by a banking watchdog move on swap transactions and expectations of improved Turkey-EU ties after Turkey released two Greek soldiers detained since March.

The lira was at 6.49 to the dollar, a gain of 4.5 percent on the day and 7.50 to the euro, well off the record lows of 7.24 to the dollar and 8.12 to the euro seen Monday.

"We will boycott USA electronic goods", Erdogan said in a televised speech.

'The import duties were increased on some products, under the principle of reciprocity, in response to the USA administration's deliberate attacks on our economy, ' Vice President Fuat Oktay wrote on Twitter.

On Tuesday, a White House official quoted by the Reuters news agency hinted at further economic measures against Turkey if Brunson was not released.

Last 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. The Trump administration announced plans on Friday to double USA tariffs imports of steel and aluminum from Turkey.

Turkey's Vice President Fuat Oktay said in a post on his official Twitter account that the new tariffs came within the framework of the reciprocity principle.

Trump has repeatedly asked for Brunson's release, while Ankara said the decision was up to the court.




The chargé d'affaires at the US embassy in Turkey, Jeffrey Hovenier, visited Brunson on Tuesday and called for his case - and those of others detained in Turkey - to be resolved "without delay" and in a "fair and transparent manner".

The US Treasury Department on August 1 announced sanctions on Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul.

The Turkish lira has dropped to record lows in recent weeks, having fallen some 42 percent so far this year.

Erdogan said Turkey is the target of an economic war waged by the USA, calling on citizens to exchange foreign currency and gold for the lira.

In a joint statement Tuesday, Turkish business groups called on the government to institute tighter monetary policy in order to combat the currency crisis. The lira's weakness has rippled through global markets.

The Trump administration has demanded that Brunson, a pastor from North Carolina who has lived in Turkey for decades, be allowed to return to the United States.

Turkey has agreed to buy S-400 surface-to-air missiles from Russian Federation, an unprecedented move by a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member, which has raised objections from members of both parties of the U.S. Congress and the Trump administration.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who was visiting Ankara, branded the United States sanctions an "illegitimate policy" on Tuesday.

Lavrov, alongside Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, also declared, "We are at a turning point, without exaggeration, in world history" from dominance by a single power toward a multipolar environment.

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