Turkey doubles tariffs on some U.S. imports over economy "attacks"

Last week, President Trump announced on Twitter that he was doubling tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum.

"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.

While the Brunson matter appeared far from being resolved, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan got a shot in the arm from Qatar's Emir, who approved a package of economic projects, investments and deposits after the two met in Ankara.

Qatar National Bank, the Middle East and North Africa's largest bank, in 2016 completed the acquisition of Turkey's Finansbank.

The currency has lost almost 40 per cent against the dollar this year, impacted by Mr Erdogan's growing influence on the economy and his repeated calls for lower interest rates despite high inflation.

The Gulf state made the investment as Turkey grapples with a collapse in the lira and tensions with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally the United States.

The record low level of 7.2 against the greenback happened on Monday.

The White House on Wednesday condemned Turkey's doubling of tariffs on USA cars, alcohol and tobacco imports, calling the action "a step in the wrong direction".

Erdogan has rejected Washington's demands to release him, while announcing new tariffs on USA imports.

Sanders said that she had no "policy announcement" in response, while Nauert remarked, "We'll wait and see". The US government is demanding that Turkey release Brunson, saying he's being held captive based on false accusations of spying.

Turkey is ready to discuss its issues with the United States as long as there are no threats, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

The lira had already rebounded about 8 percent on Tuesday on news of a planned conference call on Thursday in which the finance minister will seek to reassure global investors.

A Turkish court Tuesday released two Greek soldiers detained since March on espionage charges for illegally crossing the border in a case that has stoked tensions with Brussels.

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Turkish President Erdoğan (R) and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani shake hands in this photo released by the Turkish presidential press service on August 15, 2018.

"Rates have gone up by 10 percent".

"President Erdogan appears to be playing a risky game if he thinks he can come out on top in this spat with the United States", he commented.

With the dispute between the US and Turkey seeming to escalate by the day, the value of Turkey's lira currency against the dollar has plummeted, but Sanders rejected any blame on the U.S.'s part. By driving up short-term borrowing costs, this makes it less appealing for investors, like hedge funds, to borrow liras on the offshore swap market so they can bet against, or short, it.

Turkey's Capital Markets Board (SPK) later said it reduced leverage ratios until September 3 on new positions in foreign exchange markets to avoid fluctuations. "The administration is going to stay extremely firm on this", the official said.

Turkey's banking sector remained strong and liquid and the measures taken to support the market have started to show impact, Turkey's Akbank chief executive said and added there were was no withdrawal of deposits.

'The import duties were increased on some products, under the principle of reciprocity, in response to the USA administration's deliberate attacks on our economy, ' Vice President Fuat Oktay wrote on Twitter.

The duties were raised in response to the USA administration's "deliberate attacks on our economy", vice-president Fuat Oktay said.

The collapse, which intensified this month and triggered contagion that spread across emerging markets, is making it much more costly for businesses to refinance at least US$16 billion in bonds denominated in foreign currencies that are due by year-end, according to calculations by Bloomberg. "We have other partners and alternative markets".

Tensions between the USA and Turkey have been steadily rising since American pastor Andrew Brunson was detained by Turkish officials on charges of terrorism and espionage.

Although he was released to home detention, Brunson faces a prison sentence of up to 35 years if he is convicted on both counts at the end of his ongoing trial. Brunson's lawyer told Reuters that the appeal could be heard sooner that the usual three to seven days.

Erdogan has said 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 currency.

In response, Erdogan announced boycott of U.S. electronic devices, including Apple iPhones.

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