Trump Doubles Steel Tariffs On Turkey Amid Currency Crash

Trump and Erdogan
Jasper Juinen / Getty Images

NBC News reported Friday that President Trump plans to double the tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Turkey amid the country’s current economic crisis and crashing currency.

On Friday morning, the President announced his plan to introduce these additional tariffs on Turkish metals via Twitter, claiming that he has officially authorized a 50 percent duty on steel imports and 20 percent on aluminum. “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!”

After Trump’s morning announcement, the Turkish lira, which has already been heading towards a downward spiral, crashed by 18 percent, a record low.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attempted to reassure his country by urging them not to panic, but noted that they should be prepared to fight an “economic war.”

“If there is anyone who has dollars, euros or gold under their pillows, they should go exchange it for liras at our banks,” Erdogan said. “This is a national, domestic battle. This will be my people’s response to those who have waged an economic war against us.” Despite Erdogan’s statement, however, the Turkish lira crashed even further, leaving the country’s financial stability more uncertain than ever.

Following the President’s consequential tweet, the White House issued a statement, as reported by CNBC, confirming Trump’s new plan to double Turkish tariffs on aluminum and steel, saying, “As he stated, the President has authorized the preparation of documents to raise tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Turkey. Section 232 tariffs are imposed on imports from particular countries whose exports threaten to impair national security as defined in Section 232, independent of negotiations on trade or any other matter.”

Turkish President Erdogan
  Stringer / Getty Images

Much of this feud with Turkey is being fueled by the country’s failure to release American Paster Andrew Brunson, who has been detained in Turkey for an alleged failed coup attempt for years now. While President Trump has called for Brunson’s release, Erdogan has been more than reluctant to comply.

A Turkish caterer, Aylin Ertan, told NBC that is worried about how the economic impact of these tariffs will affect her business. “The price of the food that I buy increases day by day, the fuel that I put in my car to distribute lunches is more expensive, but I cannot raise my prices from one day to the next,” Ertan explained. “On some days, I end the day with a loss.”