United States prepared to add sanctions on Turkey if pastor not released

Turkey increases tariffs on some U.S. goods escalating feud

Turkey increases tariffs on some U.S. goods escalating feud

Turkey's currency remained steady against the U.S. dollar despite an apparent threat of possible new sanctions by U.S. President Donald Trump.

"I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!", Trump tweeted on August 10.

The United States warned Turkey on Thursday to expect more economic sanctions unless it hands over detained American pastor Andrew Brunson, as relations between the two countries took a further turn for the worse.

The US president announced on Twitter last week that he had authorized a doubling of steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey, stating that relations between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies "are not good at this time!"

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders earlier criticized Turkey's move to impose tariffs on some USA goods as "regrettable and a step in the wrong direction".

This has worsened a crisis for Turkey's currency, the lira, which has lost about a third of its value against the dollar since January.

Washington wants the evangelical Christian freed but Turkish officials say the case is a matter for the courts.

Turkey doubles tariffs on some USA goods amid rising tensions
Washington began to apply economic pressure on Ankara after the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson in Turkey. The US doubled tariffs last week over Turkey's refusal to extradite a US pastor who is imprisoned there .

The Turkish lira was slightly lower on Friday after the United States warned Ankara should expect more sanctions over the detention of an American evangelical pastor.

In return, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a decree to raise tariffs on American imports including cars, alcohol and tobacco. Trump added the pastor is a "very innocent man" and "we got somebody out for him - he needed help getting somebody out of some place".

Underscoring the ties between the countries, Sheikh Tamim was the first foreign leader to phone President Erdogan during the failed coup in Turkey in 2016.

The Turkish banking watchdog has taken steps to stabilise the currency, limiting futures transactions for offshore investors and lowering limits on swap transactions. The tariffs that the United States placed on Turkey were out of national security interest.

Turkey slapped another round of steep tariffs on US goods as the two countries escalate their trade battle and push the relationship to a breaking point.

The currency was supported by Turkey's plan to cut spending, support for the banks and Qatar's pledge to invest $15bn in the country.

"Turkey isn't in favor of an economic war", Ibrahim Kalin said Wednesday, "but staying silent when attacked is out of question".

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