Trump slaps steeper tariffs on Turkey after currency freefall

President Donald Trump announced on Friday that he is doubling tariffs on Turkey after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan asked citizens to convert foreign currencies, including U.S. dollars, into local lira — leading to a dramatic drop in the Turkish currency.

“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!” Trump tweeted.

he lira is at an all-time low against the dollar, according to CNBC. The lira has been dropping for the past several days, which Erdoğan has said is a “campaign” against Turkey, according to the Associated Press.

White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said in a statement that the new actions are Section 232 tariffs, which are “imposed on imports from particular countries whose exports threaten to impair national security.”

Trump’s announcement of steeper tariffs is his administration’s latest hit against Turkey.

The president on Aug. 1 issued sanctions against the longtime NATO ally after Turkey continued to detain American pastor Andrew Brunson. Trump warned Erdoğan in July to release the pastor or they would suffer sanctions.

Brunson was arrested in October 2016 by Turkey’s government on charges of aiding a terrorist organization and for espionage. The U.S. and Turkish officials met this week to discuss Brunson’s release, but a resolution was not reached.

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