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Turkey's Erdogan repeats call to Turks to help shore up lira

12 August, 2018, 18:45 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • Trump vows to double steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warns his country's partnership with the United States might be in "jeopardy" as tensions intensify between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

Fears over contagion even pushed global equity markets lower, with some European banks coming under heavy selling pressure due to their exposure to Turkey.

This week was interesting also because, after several months, banking stocks showed some life, particularly SBI and ICICI Bank.

Trump made his unexpected announcement on Twitter from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, as the Turkish currency, the lira, fell to all-time lows against the USA dollar.

It hit arecord low after Trump announced he had authorised higher tariffs on imports from Turkey, imposing duties of 20 percent on aluminum and 50 percent on steel.

Prior to Trump's announcement, the Turkish lira fell to its lowest point ever against the USA dollar on Friday. "Without Turkish cooperation, USA goals in Syria, Iran, Russia, and even Europe become more hard".

Erdogan said Turkey acted in accordance with the law, saying: "We have not made concessions on justice so far, and we will never make any".

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

"Interest rates should be kept to a minumum because they are a tool of exploitation that makes the poor poorer and the rich richer", he said.

The dollar rose as exposure to Turkey could impact European banks and spark a domino effect throughout Europe as people begin to pull out of those banks and into the USA, said Gregan Anderson, macroeconomic strategist at brokerage Bulltick LLC.

This came in the wake of sanctions imposed by Mr Trump for Turkey's refusal to free pastor Andrew Brunson, who the nation detained on terror charges despite the insistence of the United States he is innocent.

The prospect of a deal for Brunson's release appeared high as Turkish officials traveled to Washington this week, but the deal apparently fell apart over last-minute Turkish demands.

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The Turkish financial crisis set off a wave of selling across emerging markets, reviving the spectre of contagion that has been the sector's Achilles heel for decades.

He also repeated his call to Turks to sell their dollar and euro savings to shore up the lira.

Turkey's currency fell Friday after its economy was rattled by the United States' move to slap the country with more tariffs.

"Change the euros, the dollars and the gold that you are keeping beneath your pillows into lira at our banks".

Turkey's economy is regarded as fragile because of its high debt, which the global Monetary Fund estimates is 50 percent of its gross domestic product.

This is a very bad rationale for hiking tariffs on a country's exports.

"Those who assume they can bring us to our knees through economic manipulations don't know our nation at all", he said.

Washington "must give up the misguided notion that our relationship can be asymmetrical", he said in the opinion piece.

In an op-ed published in New York Times, Erdogan warned Washington not to risk its relations with Ankara, saying otherwise it would look for "new friends and allies". It is host to a critical part of the Western alliance's missile defence system again Iran.

And he brushed off the issue of tariffs. In the past, Trump has threatened to impose trade barriers on countries that deliberately push down the value of their currencies, so as to make their goods cheaper for American consumers (and thus, more competitive than the wares of USA manufacturers).

Ankara blames for an attempted coup in 2016. Gulen denies the allegation.

His cause resonates with Trump's Christian conservative supporters, who could be influential as Republicans seek to retain control of Congress in midterm elections in November. Thus, Trump's tweet suggests that any country that enters a time of economic turmoil - and consequently, sees the value of its currency fall - is a fair target for punitive trade actions by the United States.

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