Turkey hikes tariffs on imports of several United States products

Jeannie Matthews
August 17, 2018

Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani of gas-rich Qatar, one of Turkey's very closest allies, on Wednesday held talks with Erdogan which also included Albayrak.

The Gulf state made the investment as Turkey grapples with a collapse in the lira and tensions with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally the United States.

Following the announcement, the lira firmed briefly to 5.8699 from 6.04 to the USA dollar, but later eased back to 6.0200 at 1538 GMT.

Measures taken by Turkey's central bank also helped the lira rebound, such as cracking down on foreigners aiming to short the currency. Turkey supported Qatar after Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries cut diplomatic, trade and travel ties with Qatar past year.

"Turkish-Qatari relations are based on solid foundations of true friendship and solidarity", Kalin added.

"Turkey will emerge stronger from these (currency) fluctuations", Albayrak told the conference.

Sanders said Brunson's release would not lead to an easing in the tariffs, but that it could lead to an easing in sanctions.

Turkey's Finance Minister Berat Albayrak promised on Thursday the country will emerge "stronger" from the currency crisis sparked by a diplomatic spat with the United States, and ruled out an International Monetary Fund bailout.

Erdogan doubled the tariffs on passenger cars to 120 per cent, on alcoholic drinks to 140 per cent and on leaf tobacco to 60 per cent.

In retaliation, Turkey's doubled tariffs on US passenger cars, coal and other goods and announced a boycott of USA electronic goods.

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Vice President Fuat Oktay, in a posting on Twitter, said the duties were in response to the US' "deliberate attacks on our economy".

Turkey and Qatar historically have been good diplomatic partners. "If they have the iPhone, there is Samsung", the Turkish president said.

The lira hit a record low against the dollar on Tuesday.

Finance minister Berat Albayrak told more than 3,000 global investors and economists on a video conference that Turkey would emerge stronger from the crisis.

President Erdogan said earlier this week that Turkey should not "give in to the enemy" by investing in foreign currencies.

But on Wednesday the lira was trading at 6.0 to the dollar, a gain in value on the day of 5.2 percent.

Lira's downward spiral has increased the already-high inflation in Turkey, which is nearing 16 percent.

In London, the FTSE 100 was down 0.4 per cent by Wednesday morning.

The currency has lost almost 40 per cent against the dollar this year, impacted by Mr Erdogan's growing influence on the economy and his repeated calls for lower interest rates despite high inflation.

While Erdogan can buy time, it's not clear how the standoff with the USA can be resolved so long as Turkey continues to detain the pastor.

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