Turkey slaps 140% tariff on American alcohol

Sean Reid
August 15, 2018

Continuing fears about Turkey helped drag down other stock markets.

Erdogan has warned Turkey could seek alternative partners pointing to Ankara's strong ties with Russia, Iran and China.

The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hiked the tariffs on American cars to 120 percent and 140 percent on alcoholic beverages in response to the Trump administration's doubling levies on steel and aluminum imports from Turkey.

Turkey has doubled tariffs on some USA imports, such as cars, alcohol and tobacco, one day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a boycott of iPhones.

Turkish lira plunged on concerns over the deepening rift between Washington and Ankara, hitting a record low of 7.24 against USA dollar and weakening some 45 percent so far this year.

The currency has now stabilised at around 6.50 lira against the dollar.

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


Erdogan also has called on people to exchange their USA dollars for Turkish lira to help strengthen the exchange value of the country's currency.

"Together with our people, we will stand decisively against the dollar, forex prices, inflation and interest rates. We will protect our economic independence by being tight-knit together", he said.

Ankara acted amid increased tension between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies over Turkey's detention of a Christian American pastor and other diplomatic issues, which have helped send the lira tumbling to record lows against the dollar.

The call from businesses came as Erdogan demanded a boycott of Apple and other US -made products in an effort to hurt the United States.

Turkey's business lobbies have also called for a tighter monetary policy to stabilize the lira, and for a diplomatic solution to the United States-Turkish dispute. Erdogan accused the United States of conspiring against Turkey and said that the slide in its currency doesn't make any sense logically. Although he was released to home detention, he faces a prison sentence of up to 35 years if he is convicted at the end of his ongoing trial.

On Monday, the Turkish currency hit a record low of 7.24 against the U.S. dollar in Asia Pacific trading.

He said: "If they have the iPhone, there is Samsung elsewhere".


Armed with additional clout in the latest election, he recently put in 40-year-old son-in-law, Berat Albayrak, in charge of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury, a move that gutted confidence in the independence of the Turkish Central Bank and its ability to resolve such crises.

"We will boycott USA electronic products", Erdogan said. He suggested Turks would buy local or Korean-made Samsung phones instead, although it was unclear how he meant to enforce the boycott. Turkey has held the evangelist since 2016 on charges that he was involved in a failed coup attempt that year.

Erdogan said his government would offer further incentives to companies planning to invest in Turkey and said firms should not be put off by economic uncertainty.

"We will produce every product we are importing from overseas with foreign currency here and we will be the ones exporting these products", he said.

The Turkish foreign minister said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Sudan was very successful especially on the issue of the Suakin island. "What do you want to do?"

Kalin also called on the United States to respect legal process in Turkey in reference to the American pastor's continued detention.


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