U.S. President Donald Trump Friday said he would hit Turkey with increased steel and aluminum tariffs, exacerbating problems for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as he grapples with a plummeting currency.
The announcement comes amid a diplomatic row over the arrest of an American pastor and charges against several U.S. officers at the İncirlik Air Base in southern Turkey.
Trump said he has ordered his administration to double the additional tariffs levied on steel and aluminum coming in from Turkey to 50 percent and 20 percent respectively, up from the 25 percent and 10 percent already levied on steel and aluminum imports from across the world.
Amid a severe economic slowdown, the Turkish lira has plunged, making Turkey’s steel exports cheaper — which could offset the effect of the U.S. tariffs.
“I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!,” Trump tweeted. “Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!”