Turkey increases tariffs on some US imports, escalating feud
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Turkey increases tariffs on some US imports, escalating feud

Ankara: Turkey is increasing tariffs on imports of certain American products, escalating a feud with the United States that has helped trigger a currency crisis.

In a decision announced in the Official Gazette, Ankara said it was imposing extra tariffs on imports of products including rice, vehicles, alcohol, coal and cosmetics.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan holds a citizen by the hand while speaking on his iPhone in 2015. He is now calling for a boycott of American products, including the iPhone.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan holds a citizen by the hand while speaking on his iPhone in 2015. He is now calling for a boycott of American products, including the iPhone.

Photo: AP

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Twitter that the tariffs were increased "within the framework of the principle of reciprocity in retaliation for the conscious economic attacks by the United States."

The decision came a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would boycott US electronic goods, singling out iPhones. He suggested Turks would buy local or Korean phones instead, although it was unclear how he intended to enforce the boycott.

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The Turkish lira has dropped to record lows in recent weeks, having fallen some 42 per cent so far this year. The currency has now stabilised at around 6.50 lira against the US dollar.

Investors are worried not only about Turkey's souring relations with the US, a longtime NATO ally, but also Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's economic policies and the country's high debt accumulated in foreign currencies.

Turkey has accused the United States of waging an "economic war" as part of a plot to harm the country.

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Washington has imposed financial sanctions on two Turkish ministers and doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey, as US President Donald Trump tries to secure the release Andrew Brunson, an American pastor being tried in Turkey on espionage and terrorism-related charges.

AP