Turkish Currency Collapses After Trump Doubles Metals Tariffs

Berat Albayrak

Relations between the United States and Turkey have been weakening for several reasons.

Trump's "jubilation in inflicting economic hardship on its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey is shameful", Zarif wrote on Twitter.

Earlier on Friday the lira plunged as much as 14 percent on as worries about Erdogan's influence over monetary policy and worsening US relations snowballed into a market panic that also hit shares of European banks.

Iran has also suffered from a major tumbling of its currency this year partly over reimposition of U.S. sanctions after Trump abandoned a 2015 nuclear deal.

The lira was trading at 6.47 to the dollar at 1230 IST, a loss on the day of 16.6 percent.

"Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%".

"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!"

He also said it was a pity that Washington chose Brunson over Turkey, its partner in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and in an opinion piece in the New York Times, he warned the United States that Ankara had other alternatives as allies. Financial upheaval there risks further destabilising an already volatile region.

One of the triggers of the turmoil has been a standoff with the US over a detained American pastor that Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, has put on trial for espionage and terror-related charges linked to a failed coup attempt in the country two years ago.

The external value of the lira is not a prime concern of Mr Erdogan's core supporters, many of whom have no plans for foreign holidays and readily accept government rhetoric that economic problems are caused by outsiders seeking to weaken Turkey.

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The new duties on Turkey are double the level that Trump imposed in March on steel and aluminium imports from a range of countries.

"Turkey expects other member countries to abide by global rules", the country's trade ministry said in a statement.

The two countries are also divided over the detention of three locally employed USA consular staff, Washington's sanctions on Iran, Turkey's plans to buy a Russian missile defense system, and their military interventions in Syria. He denies the charges.

A Turkish delegation visited Washington for talks this week but left with no signs of a breakthrough. "Immediately give these to the banks and convert to Turkish lira and by doing this, we fight this war of independence".

The president's characteristic defiance in the face of a shaky economy has further unnerved investors. The president, who says a shadowy "interest rate lobby" and Western credit ratings agencies are attempting to bring down Turkey's economy, appealed to his countrymen's patriotism.

Erdogan said during an address to supporters: "Change the euros, the dollars and the gold that you are keeping beneath your pillows into lira at our banks". In his speech in the northeastern city of Bayburt, Erdogan added that he would decisively defend the country against economic attacks.

"Some countries have engaged in behavior that protects coup plotters and knows no laws or justice", he said. He added that the country will continue to enjoy good economic relations with several major nations.

USA support for Kurdish rebel groups fighting Islamic State fighters in northern Syria.is another major difficulty, given Turkey's battle against a Kurdish insurgency in its own country.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan struck a defiant note in a series of Twitter messages shortly before Trump's announcement. According to a source in Erdogan's office, the two said they were pleased with the positive direction in their economic and trade ties and with the ongoing cooperation in the energy and defense sectors.

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