Turkey increases tariffs on US goods amid diplomatic row

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Turkey has doubled tariffs on some U.S. imports including cars, alcohol and tobacco in retaliation to U.S. sanctions as the diplomatic row between both countries over the detention of an American Pastor heightens.

Last Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump said he had authorised higher tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Turkey.

The United States imposed sanctions on two Turkish government ministers over the trial on terrorism charges of U.S. evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson in Turkey, and last week Washington raised tariffs on Turkish metal exports.

Brunson and a few other diplomats are being accused of aiding a coup to unseat Erdogan.

A decree signed by President Tayyip Erdogan, doubled Turkish tariffs on passenger cars to 120 percent, on alcoholic drinks to 140 percent and on leaf tobacco to 60 percent.

Tariffs were also doubled on goods such as cosmetics, rice and coal.

The import duties were increased on some products, under the principle of reciprocity, in response to the U.S. administration’s deliberate attacks on our economy,” Vice President Fuat Oktay wrote on Twitter.

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Erdogan promised a boycot of US goods on Tuesday

The United States was the fourth largest source of imports to Turkey last year, accounting for $12 billion of imports, according to IMF statistics. Turkey’s exports to the United States last year amounted to $8.7 billion, making it Turkey’s fifth-largest export market.

U.S. national security adviser John Bolton on Monday met Turkey’s ambassador to the United States to discuss Brunson’s detention. Following the meeting, U.S. officials have given no indication that the United States has been prepared to give ground in the standoff between the two countries’ leaders.

Ankara has repeatedly said the case is up to the courts and a Turkish judge moved Brunson from jail to house arrest in July.

Brunson’s lawyer said on Tuesday he had launched a fresh appeal to a Turkish court for the pastor’s release.