Trump doubles tariffs on Turkish metals

Alan Madison, a spokesman for Borusan Mannesmann's USA subsidiary, said the company and its Turkish parent were still studying Trump's new proposal and declined to comment further.

Shares of Turkish steelmakers Kardemir Karabuk Demir Celik Sanayi ve Ticaret AS and Eregli Demir ve Celik Fabrikalari TAS plunged as much as 8 per cent and 9.9 per cent, respectively, after Trump's tweet.

'Aluminum will now be 20 percent and Steel 50 percent.

This is double the level the president imposed on a range of countries earlier this year, including European Union member states.

Turkey's currency fell Friday after its economy was rattled by the United States' move to slap the country with more tariffs. Turkey answered the March tariff announcement by placing its own tariffs on $267 million of USA goods.

Turkey's trade ministry said the US tariff moves were against World Trade Organization rules.

US President Donald Trump's proposal to double tariffs on steel and aluminum from Turkey could push up costs even further for domestic oil and gas pipeline projects, as energy executives said they were already struggling from earlier tariff rises.

Indeed, through Thursday, the Turkish lira had lost 32 percent of its value against the dollar just since the beginning of the year.

Q: How is the fall in the lira a problem? The weakened currency's value has helped increase inflation and anxious worldwide investors.

Andrew Brunson has been in Turkish custody since 2016, when he was arrested on charges of terrorism and support of a group held responsible for an attempted coup of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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The only place in Europe where it is still legal is Belarus, which has a sizeable Catholic minority of about 7% of the population. He criticized the Pope's leadership, saying Francis has a "socialist bent" and his statement doesn't change church doctrine.

"Turkey expects other member countries to abide by global rules", the country's trade ministry said in a statement.

He has said Turkey's economy remains strong, noting a 7.4 percent growth rate in the first three months of this year.

His characteristic defiance has further unnerved investors.

The lira tumbled about 10 per cent on Friday to another record low as investors worry about Erdogan's unorthodox economic policies and United States sanctions. His comments on interest rates - and his recent appointment of his son-in-law as finance minister - have heightened perceptions that the central bank is not independent.

Erdogan has blamed outside forces for trying to bring down Turkey's economy.

Erdogan said the two countries have been strategic partners and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies for six decades and reminded Washington that Turkey and the USA "stood shoulder to shoulder against common challenges during the Cold War and its aftermath".

President Donald Trump announced Friday that he is doubling tariffs on steel and aluminum from Turkey amid heightened tensions between the two nations. And it is not too far away from the level at which Goldman Sachs warned Turkey's banks would run out of the extra capital they had built up as a buffer against a crisis. Turkey wants Brunson to stand trial.

Last week, the United States imposed sanctions on Turkey's justice minister and interior minister for not releasing pastor Andrew Brunson. "Making a speech like Albayrak's in the midst of a currency free fall without a single concrete measure shows utter lack of comprehension about what's happening and what's required", tweeted Harvard economist Dani Rodrik. These include places "from Iran, to Russian Federation, to China and some European countries", he said. According to a source in Erdogan's office, the two said they were pleased with the positive direction in their economic and trade ties and with the ongoing cooperation in the energy and defense sectors.

Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English, based on reports from Reuters, the Associated Press and Agence France-Presse.

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