Turkish Lira Plummets; Erdogan Pledges Economic War

11 August, 2018, 11:24 | Author: Brooke Harris
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Turkey is world's sixth-biggest steel producer, and eighth largest steel importer for the United States according to the International Trade Administration.

On Friday the currency dropped as much as 18 percent at onepoint, the biggest one-day fall since a 2001 financial crisis inTurkey.

"The situation of Turkey can not go on for much longer - I think they will have to intervene", Cristian Maggio, head of emerging markets strategy at TD Securities, adding that the intervention needed to be "drastic".

This prompted yet another tweet from President Trump, this time announcing the actual authorization of the doubling of tariffs on steel and aluminum for Turkey. Trump said on Twitter.

"The reason local denominated bonds have been hurt is the potential trade war initiated by the Trump tariffs", explains Maizel, "Most emerging countries live and die from commodities and the fear of lower markets hurts them". "Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%", President Donald Trump tweeted". The White House said he had authorized them under Section 232 of US trade law, which allows for tariffs on national security grounds.

But Turkey's trade ministry said the tariffs were against World Trade Organisation rules.

"Some countries have engaged in behaviour that protects coup plotters and knows no laws or justice", he said.

Hordijk said in an email: "President Erdogan is the elephant in the room ..."

White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters later clarified, "As he stated, the president has authorized the preparation of documents to raise tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Turkey".

Investors in Turkey are also anxious about President Erdogan's interference in the country's central bank.

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"A US-induced crisis in Turkey will create a new martyr in the region, with far-reaching consequences which American congressmen and President Trump do not foresee", Bulent Gultekin, a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the former Turkish Central Bank governor, told MEE.

On Thursday, Erdogan said "If they have their dollar, we have the people, we have Allah".

The mere fact that the US would impose sanctions on Turkey - a stalwart North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally for decades during the Cold War - has increased uncertainty about the future in Turkey.

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters on August 9 that the United States would define progress in relations with Turkey with Brunson's return to the United States.

Erdogan framed Turkey's currency crisis as a "national battle" against economic enemies, namely the USA, saying "if they have their dollar, we have the people, we have Allah".

The diplomatic dispute with the USA was one of the triggers for the turmoil this week. Gulen denies the allegation.

The move follows the failure of US-Turkish talks in Washington this week to release Pastor Andrew Brunson from house arrest in Izmir after he was jailed in 2016 on charges of espionage.

His cause resonates with Mr Trump's Christian conservative supporters.

Turkey imposed $266.5 million in tariffs against the U.S. in June, targeting American imports of coal, paper, walnuts, almonds, tobacco, whiskey and machinery, amongst other items. On 26 July, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence threatened sanctions if Brunson was not instantly released.

Erdogan enjoys the support of many Turks even though rents and food and fuel prices have all surged.



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