Friday, May 17, 2019

U.S. terminates Turkey's preferential trade agreement.... Economic warfare continues

 While reducing steel tariffs back to the level they were before the Brunson affair, when Trump doubled the tariff’s to pressure Turkey.

Reuters.com
"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Thursday terminated Turkey’s preferential trade treatment that allowed some exports to enter the country duty free, but it has halved its tariffs on imports of Turkish steel to 25%.

The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in early March said Turkey was no longer eligible to participate because it “is sufficiently economically developed.” It had begun reviewing the NATO ally’s status in the program last August when the two countries were embroiled in a diplomatic row.

During last year’s spat, Trump had imposed higher tariffs on imports of Turkish steel and aluminum to put economic pressure on NATO member Turkey to force it to release Andrew Brunson, an American pastor who was detained there over terrorism charges. Brunson was released last October.

Trump’s move had sent the Turkish lira into a tailspin. Since then, the ties between the two countries have remained tense over disagreements ranging from Ankara’s planned purchase of a Russian missile system to diverging interests in Syria.

In a subsequent statement on Thursday, the White House said it was reducing the 50% tariff, doubled last August, to 25%."
Reuters, again:
"The lira has weakened as much as 15 percent further this year, partly from concerns about a re-run of the Istanbul mayoral election and the risk of U.S. sanctions. It fell again on Friday after the latest U.S. moves.

“The U.S. decisions were negatively priced, but the decisions do not have a clear economic impact,” said a treasury desk trader at one bank. “Markets will monitor political statements regarding relations between the two countries, given the risks that they have recently entailed.”

Ties between Ankara and Washington remain tense over disagreements ranging from Turkey’s planned purchase of a Russian S-400 missile defence system, which could trigger sanctions, to diverging interests in Syria.  
U.S. officials say Turkey’s planned purchase of the S-400s would jeopardise its role in building F-35 fighter jets as well as its purchase of the aircraft, which Washington says would be compromised by the Russian system.

Turkey wants the United States to extradite Fethullah Gulen, a Pennsylvania-based Muslim cleric who Turkish authorities say masterminded the 2016 coup attempt against Erdogan in which 250 people were killed. Gulen denies the allegation"

US Sanctions Turkey Over the arrest of CIA Pastor Brunson

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