Turkey's tariff hikes on USA products 'regrettable': White House

People check currency exchange rates at a currency exchange office in Istanbul Turkey

People check currency exchange rates at a currency exchange office in Istanbul Turkey

Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said Turkey had doubled tariffs on 22 products imported from the United States, saying the tariffs were together worth an additional $533 million.

The lira firmed as far as 5.75 against the dollar on Wednesday and stood at 5.90 at 2058 GMT.

Ankara's latest move follows President TrumpDonald John TrumpDems make history, and other takeaways from Tuesday's primaries Pawlenty loses comeback bid in Minnesota Establishment-backed Vukmir wins Wisconsin GOP Senate primary MORE's announcement last week that he will double tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Turkey until it releases USA pastor Andrew Brunson, who was arrested in 2016.

On Wednesday, Turkey doubled tariffs on some imports from the USA - such as passenger cars, alcohol and tobacco - in what it said was retaliation for "deliberate attacks" on its economy. "We have other partnerships and alternative markets".

Only weeks ago it would have seemed fanciful to draw a link between the fate of an American pastor in Turkey, a crisis between two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies and turmoil on global financial markets.

It was boosted after the Turkish banking regulator cut the amount of funds banks can use for currency swap trading, limiting the possibilities for speculating against the lira.

Amnesty International said it was "overjoyed" by the news that its chairman in Turkey, Taner Kılıç, was set to be freed later Wednesday by an Istanbul court after being held in detention for over a year.

The investment will be channeled into Turkish financial markets and banks, a government source told Reuters. The news comes in a statement released on Turkey's President's website following his meeting with Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

According to Mert Yilmaz, a Turkish economist, such boycott calls are very normal when relations of the two countries are strained.

Tariffs on cosmetics, rice and coal were also increased. On Wednesday, a Turkish court in the Aegean province of Izmir, where Mr. Brunson is on trial, rejected the pastor's appeal to be released from house arrest.

A Turkish court on Wednesday rejected US pastor Andrew Brunson's appeal to be released from house arrest and for his travel ban to be lifted, although a ruling from a higher court on the matter is still forthcoming.

Some analysts have predicted economic turmoil in Turkey for many months as inflation soared and the lira fell.

Western economists point to the fact that Turkey borrowed large sums of money when interest rates in the U.S. and Europe were very low.

Such actions would likely be additional economic sanctions, the official said, adding, "the pressure is going to keep up if we're not seeing results".

In London, the FTSE 100 was down 0.4 per cent by Wednesday morning. The falling price of copper combined with general unease about risky assets sent the miners down.

Some analysts predicted Beijing, while embroiled in a trade war with the U.S., may offer some financial assistance to Turkey, such as buying yuan-denominated bonds. European banking shares were down 1% as fears lingered over the crisis hitting lenders with exposure to Turkey.

While Turks who propelled Erdogan to election victory in June recognize they could face hardship, there is little domestic criticism of a leader who presided over years of debt-fueled growth that drew warnings of a looming bust and currency crisis. "Turkey is nowhere near fixed, so risk appetite is struggling to make a comeback", he said.

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