Published: Fri, August 17, 2018
Money | By Arnold Ball

Turks film themselves smashing iPhones amid US-Turkey trade war

Turks film themselves smashing iPhones amid US-Turkey trade war

"They have not proven to be a good friend", Mr Trump said of Turkey during the Cabinet meeting.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday that the United States will "pay nothing" for the release of a jailed American Pastor in Turkey, but would punish Ankara if he is not released.

Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said Thursday the United States is prepared to put additional sanctions in place against Turkey if the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan does not release American pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been held since 2016.

On Wednesday, the USA dismisses any move to remove steel tariffs which caused currency rout in the Turkey even in the circumstance if Ankara frees a USA pastor.

Despite the rise, Turkey's currency has lost nearly a third of its value against the dollar since January, pushing up the price of everyday items and raising fears that its weakness could infect other emerging market currencies.

"Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%", Trump tweeted Friday.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders earlier criticized Turkey's move to impose tariffs on some USA goods as "regrettable and a step in the wrong direction".

"We have more that we are planning to do if they don't release him quickly", Mnuchin said during the meeting.

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The threat comes as Turkey sought to reassure investors rattled by the sanctions-fueled crash of the Turkish lira, insisting the country would emerge stronger.

On Wednesday, Qatar pledged $15 billion to help Turkey through its economic and currency crisis. On Wednesday, a court in Izmir, where Brunson is on trial, rejected his appeal to be released from house arrest.

The lira has staged a small recovery but that is threatened by a fresh tweet from US President Donald Trump.

Investors said Albayrak's conference call would test whether Turkey can persuade markets that its monetary policy is not hostage to political influence. On Tuesday, he said Turkey would boycott USA electronic products.

In reality, a number of issues have come between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, not least Turkey's plan to purchase the Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft weapons system.

The hope is this will resolve a tariff war that threatens to curb global economic growth at a time when the US Federal Reserve is raising interest rates, creating difficulties for emerging market economies that have high external borrowing requirements.

Last Friday, the US doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum exports in order to increase pressure on Erdogan. In response, Erdogan has called for a boycott of United States electrical goods while Ankara has sharply hiked tariffs on some U.S. goods.

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