Turkey announces sharp tariffs on U.S. goods


A calculation by Bloomberg shows the items listed in the decree accounted for $1 billion of imports previous year, similar to the amount of Turkish steel and aluminum exports that were subjected to higher tariffs by President Donald Trump last week.

The turmoil has raised fears of a looming economic crisis in Turkey and prompted alarm that foreign investors in the country, including Qatar, could be hit in the fallout.

Turkey's Vice President Fuat Oktay commented on the move, stating: "Under the principle of reciprocity, the tax rates for imports of certain products have been increased against the USA administration's conscious attacks on our economy".

The tariff increases amount to a doubling of the existing rate, the state-run Anadolu news agency said, in an apparent parallel response to Trump's move.

In a decision announced in the Official Gazette, Ankara said it will impose extra tariffs on imports of products including rice, vehicles, alcohol, coal and cosmetics.

The investment package was announced after Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani met President Tayyip Erdogan in the capital, as Turkey grapples with a collapsing lira and a worsening commercial and political standoff with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally the United States.

Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin added: "Turkey is not in favour of an economic war with anyone but when attacked ... will take all necessary steps".

Qatari Ambassador to Turkey Salem bin Mubarak Al Shafi said his country would continue supporting Turkey following recently-imposed US sanctions on the country.

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Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, who is Erdogan's son-in-law, and his Qatari counterpart Ali Sharif Al-Emadi were present at the talks in the capital Ankara.

The lira has fallen 45pc against the dollar since the start of 2018, and the country's stock market has fallen 17%.

"President Erdogan appears to be playing a unsafe game if he thinks he can come out on top in this spat with the United States", he commented.

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

Turkey retaliated on Wednesday with tariffs on certain USA goods.

Turkish officials have also been keen to emphasise that Ankara wants to retain strong ties with Europe, which has also expressed deep unease with Trump's trade policies.

Turkish media reports say a Turkish court has rejected an appeal for the release of an American pastor from detention.