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Turkey says Trump tariff move will harm ties, vows retaliation

Turkey says Trump tariff move will harm ties, vows retaliation

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday (Aug 11) branded interest rates a "tool of exploitation" which should be kept as low as possible.

The ministry however, noted that United States will continue to be Turkey's important trading partner.

High level meetings in Washington between USA and Turkish officials ended this week without an apparent resolution. It is host to a critical part of the Western alliance's missile defense system again Iran.

Trump's announcement had earlier pushed the Turkish lira to new historic lows against the dollar, with the currency at one point shedding nearly a quarter of its value within the day.

In a bid to ease investor concerns about Turkey's economic policy, the country's finance minister says the government will safeguard the independence of the central bank.

The new set of economic steps are aimed at securing an economic growth of 3-4 percent in 2019, and decreasing the inflation rate to single digits, the Ministry of Treasury and Finance said in a press release on August 9.

Albayrak was speaking at a conference where he outlined his ministry's "new economic policy" as the currency plunged, raising questions about the country's financial stability.

Investors are anxious about the president's unorthodox economic policies, pressure exerted on the central bank, and a dispute with the United States that has led to sanctions.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned the US on Saturday that his country does not respond to threats, a day after President Donald Trump sent the lira into freefall by announcing he would double the rate of import tariffs on Turkish metals.

Trump's abrupt and unilateral action raised the possibility that he could move similarly to increase tariff rates on other trading partners that have seen their currencies fall against the strengthening dollar, most notably China.

Saying that the business relationship between Turkey and the United States has "historically been based on mutual respect and cooperation", the ATC also implored the Trump administration "to reconsider this escalation of a trade war" and "resolve this dispute at the negotiating table", warning that there will be no winners in this war.

A meeting between senior diplomats from the two countries on Wednesday in Washington did not produce significant progress to ease tensions over the trial of U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson in Turkey on charges of supporting terrorism and espionage.

It did not disclose details, but suggests Turkey might gravitate further away from its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies toward cooperation with Russian Federation, whose relations with the West are at their lowest since the Cold War.

Trump's tweet caused a further drop in the Turkish currency, which is now down 13 percent on the day. Erdoğan also called on citizens to sell their savings in euros and dollars and buy lira. "This is a national, domestic battle", he told a crowd in the northeastern city of Bayburt. The lira fell further after Trump's tweet.

Steel imports from Turkey have already fallen sharply, according to government data.

The lira TRYTOM=D3 has always been falling on worries about Erdogan's influence over monetary policy and worsening relations with the United States.

The Turkish lira has fallen more than 10 per cent since last week when the U.S. slapped sanctions on two Turkish ministers.

"The U.S. runs the risk of losing Turkey as a whole. You will not make money at the expense of Turkish people".

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