Turkey issues retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters in his Black Sea hometown Rize Turkey Saturday Aug. 11 2018

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters in his Black Sea hometown Rize Turkey Saturday Aug. 11 2018

The country's Official Gazette announced on Wednesday the higher tariffs on a series of products including rice, vehicles, alcohol, coal and cosmetics.

Turkish lira plunged on concerns over the deepening rift between Washington and Ankara, hitting a record low of 7.24 against US dollar and weakening some 45 percent so far this year.

Despite a call from Turkish business groups for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to mend ties with Washington, the leader was defiant on Tuesday, calling for a boycott of United States electronic equipment.

The call from businesses came as Erdogan demanded a boycott of Apple and other USA -made products in an effort to hurt the United States.

Relations between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have plummeted in one of their worst crises in decades after the detention of United States pastor Andrew Brunson on terror-related charges, sending the Turkish lira into free fall against the dollar.

The emir of wealthy Qatar flew to Turkey on Wednesday to meet close ally President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in an apparent show of support as Ankara grapples with a currency crisis. It was unclear how he planned to enforce such a boycott.

"The president has a great deal of frustration on the fact that Pastor Brunson has not been released as well as the fact that other United States citizens and employees of diplomatic facilities have not been released", White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told a briefing.

Erdogan says Turkey is the target of an economic war, and has made repeated calls for Turks to sell their dollars and euros to shore up the national currency.

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

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The Trump administration imposed its own financial sanctions on two Turkish ministers and doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on the country earlier this month as President Donald Trump tries to secure the Brunson's release.

Unfazed by Turkey's escalating economic turmoil, Erdoğan suggested he would snub US-made iPhones in favour of other mobile brands produced domestically or in other countries.

The evangelical pastor, who is originally from Black Mountain, N.C., has lived in Turkey for 23 years and led the Izmir Resurrection Church.

Turkey's ambassador to Washington Serdar Kilic held talks with United States national security advisor John Bolton in a meeting which Ankara said was arranged by the White House. Independent economists say Erdogan should let the central bank raise interest rates to support the currency, but he wants low rates to keep the economic growth going.

Liberty Times that four major Taiwanese companies are likely to be on the losing end of investments and ventures in Turkey if the USA sanctions are implemented and maintained for any significant amount of time.

Switching to foreign currency would mean giving in to the enemy, he added.

In the case of the American pastor, the lawyer representing Andrew Brunson again asked a Turkish court to release him from house arrest.

The U.S. slapped sanctions on Turkey after the nation refused to release pastor Andrew Brunson.

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