Turkey raises tariffs on USA imports amid economic spat

15 August, 2018, 19:59 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • The Turkish government has been scrambling to minimise the impact of the devaluation of the lira

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 U.S. electronic equipment.

Erdogan has reacted to the financial instability by blaming foreign powers, in particularly the United States, a longtime North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, which he says is waging an "economic war" as part of a plot to harm Turkey.

Erdogan also said that the country could depend on Venus and Vestel, two of Turkey's domestic smartphone brands. On Tuesday, one dollar was worth 7.2 lira.

"There is a cost for those who are plotting the operation" against Turkey, Erdogan said in the first of two speeches in Ankara, without specifying when the boycott would start or how it would be enforced.

He said: "Erdogan has not shown any sign of backing down and going to a more orthodox policy and if things get worse with the Turkish Lira there will be an increase in non-performing loans and you are going to have a blow through to the European banking system".

"We will implement a boycott against America's electronic goods", he said.

In his televised speech yesterday, Erdogan vowed that Turkey will "boycott USA electronic goods".

He sharply criticized the USA for its trade policy, claiming that the ultimate goal was destabilizing Turkey. Behind the scenes, however, diplomats resumed contact to ease tensions.

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In this Friday, Dec. 25, 2015 photo, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, holds Turkish citizen Vezir Cakras by the hand while speaking on his mobile phone inside his vehicle in Istanbul.

He said Russian Federation and Turkey have set a goal to switch from dollars to national currencies in mutual trade.

Meanwhile, the lawyer representing Andrew Brunson, the American pastor at the center of the dispute, renewed an appeal for his release from house arrest and for a travel ban imposed on him to be lifted.

National Security Adviser John Bolton met at the White House on Monday with Turkish ambassador Serdar Kilic, but the discussion reportedly did not result in any substantive progress. Erdogan accused the United States of conspiring against Turkey and said that the slide in its currency doesn't make any sense logically.

Hurriyet newspaper said the court in Izmir rejected the appeal, but that a higher court would review the appeal.

A similar plea came from the nation's banks, including the second-largest by assets, Turkiye Garanti Bankasi AS. A string of robust earnings also boosted USA shares. "Besides fiscal discipline, monetary tightening is the remedy". The currency strengthened to around 6.20 lira against the dollar on Wednesday after the government took steps to shore up the currency by reducing the daily limit in bank foreign currency swap transactions and amid news that the finance minister would address foreign investors on Thursday.

Citizens tend to have bank accounts in various currencies so how they move their money does have a meaningful impact on the lira's trajectory.

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