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Trump doubles tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum, says relations ‘not good’

US President Donald Trump has announced to double steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey, saying relations between Washington and Ankara “not good” as tensions mount between the two countries.

According to Press TV, Trump said on Twitter “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!”

“Aluminum will now be 20 percent and Steel 50 percent. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!” he added.

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! Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2018

The United States is the world’s biggest steel importer. Washington slapped tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum in March for imports from several countries, including Turkey.

Trump’s announcement came shortly after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called on Turks to help defend the country against the US-launched economic war against his nation.  Erdogan appealed to Turks to exchange dollars and gold for Turkish lira to support the plunging currency.

The lira plunged to as low as 6 against the US dollar on Friday, a day after a Turkish delegation returned from talks in Washington with no apparent solutions to their simmering crisis.

Erdogan said that there were “various campaigns being carried out” against the country.

In response, the Turkish Trade Ministry said on Friday that additional steel and aluminum tariffs were against the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

“Turkey expects other member countries to abide by international rules,” the ministry said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the country’s Foreign Ministry said that such a move “will be harming our relationship as allies,” noting, “As with all measures taken against Turkey, the necessary response will be given.”

Relations between the two NATO allies have taken a turn for the worse amid dispute over the detention in Turkey of US evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson on terrorism charges.

Trump wrote on Twitter late last month that his country “will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson.”

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