White House denounces Turkey tariffs on United States products


The announcement came after Qatar's emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani held lunchtime talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkey and the United States exchanged new threats of sanctions Friday, keeping alive a diplomatic and financial crisis that is threatening the economic stability of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation country as a Turkish court rejected the appeal of an American pastor caught in the middle of the row.

The lira has weakened 35 percent against the dollar this year as the deterioration in ties between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies fuelled losses driven by concerns over President Tayyip Erdogan's influence over monetary policy.

US Vice President Mike Pence also renewed his threats to Turkey on Wednesday, warning that he and Trump would "stand firm" until Brunson is released. The United States was the fourth-largest source of imports to Turkey previous year, accounting for $12 billion of imports, according to International Monetary Fund statistics. "Turkish-Qatari relations are based on solid foundations of true friendship and solidarity", he said. A senior U.S. official told CNN that in exchange for Turkey's release of Brunson, Israel agreed to release Ebru Ozkan, a 27-year-old Turkish woman held in Israel on suspicion of aiding Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that controls Gaza.

On Wednesday, Turkey rejected pastor Andrew Craig Brunson's appeal to be released from custody, and slapped additional tariffs on USA imports.

The Turkish lira has strengthened more than 3% today, ahead of a presentation by Finance Minister Berat Albayrak to investors, shrugging off USA comments ruling out the removal of steel tariffs on Turkey even if it frees a U.S. pastor.

US President Donald Trump on Thursday lashed out at Turkey, saying Washington will pay "nothing" to Ankara for the release of a detained American pastor. The decree also doubled tariffs on American cosmetics, rice, and coal, among other imports. The U.S. Department of Treasury sanctioned Turkey's Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gul and Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu in early August over their roles in Brunson's detention.

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When Kilic sought to tie conditions to Brunson's release, Bolton waved them aside and said there would be no negotiations.

The currency plunged to a record low of 7.24 to the dollar at the start of the week as a worsening of relations between Turkey and the U.S. added to losses driven by concerns over President Tayyip Erdogan's influence over monetary policy.

Turkey's finance chief tried to reassure thousands of global investors on a conference call Thursday, in which he pledged to fix the economic troubles.

Markets are concerned by Erdogan's influence over the economy and his resistance to interest rate increases to tackle double-digit inflation.

In currency markets, the dollar index.DXY fell 0.06 percent, while the euro EUR= was up 0.19 percent to $1.1365 after closing Wednesday at its lowest point since July 2017.

Turkey has the highest foreign exchange-denominated debt among emerging markets, Societe Generale said in its note on Friday, estimating its short-term external debt at $180 billion (£141.6 billion) and total external debt at $460 billion (£361.9 billion).