Turkish President Erdogan Calls for Boycott of American Electronics

15 August, 2018, 17:59 | Author: Billie Castillo
  • Turkish President Erdogan Calls for Boycott of American Electronics

Ankara said it will impose extra tariffs on imports of products including rice, vehicles, alcohol, coal and cosmetics.

Turkey has retaliated by announcing Wednesday that it will increase tariffs on certain US products, including on cars, rice, alcohol, coal and cosmetics.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is accusing the United States of waging a targeted economic war on his country, and on Tuesday he proposed a boycott of US electronic goods.

"If they have iPhone, there is Samsung on the other side".

While policy makers have hiked lending rates by 500 basis points this year to 17.75 percent, they're under constant pressure from Erdogan to keep rates low because he thinks it's better for the economy.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters during a ceremony marking the second anniversary of the attempted coup at the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey July 15, 2018.

Trump doubled tariffs on imports of Turkish steel and aluminum last week, contributing to a precipitous fall in the lira TRYTOM=D3 . While officially the bad debt ratio at Turkey's banks is just 3 percent, lenders are in the process of renegotiating upwards of $20 billion of loans to try to prevent them from going into default.

Relations between the two NATO allies have plummeted in one of their worst crises in decades as Trump tries to secure the release of Brunson, an evangelical pastor from North Carolina being tried in Turkey on espionage and terrorism-related charges.

Turkish president says country will boycott iPhones
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters that the top USA diplomat in Turkey would visit Brunson later Tuesday. According to a statement released by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the meeting focused on Brunson.

"The progress that we want to be made is to have Pastor Brunson return home, and I'll leave it at that", US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on August 9. Brunson and his supporters have firmly denied the charges.

National Security Adviser John Bolton met at the White House on Monday with Turkish ambassador Serdar Kilic, but the discussion reportedly did not result in any substantive progress.

Erdogan's call for a boycott of USA products comes after the Trump administration increased metals tariffs on Turkey as part of a campaign to pressure Ankara to release the United States citizen, pastor Andrew Brunson, who faces charges of terrorism.

Brunson's charges include spying for the PKK - listed as a terrorist group by both the US and Turkey - and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the defeated coup attempt in Turkey of July 2016. "But there will be a price [which] those who're waging an economic warfare against Turkey will also pay". The Turkish currency has lost about 40 percent of its value this year against the US dollar.

Erdogan said Turkey is the target of an economic war waged by the U.S., calling on citizens to exchange foreign currency and gold for the lira.

In a televised speech on Friday, he called on Turkish citizens to exchange foreign currency and gold for lira, calling it an "economic war". "In our country there is Venus Vestel", he said referring to a Turkish-made smartphone. But world stock traders were dismayed the bank did not raise interest rates, which is what many economists believe is necessary to ease the crisis.

Relations between Turkey and the United States have been soured by Brunson's detention, as well as diverging interests on Syria.

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