Turkey escalates feud by boosting tariffs on USA booze, cars

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Turkey said on Wednesday it is increasing tariffs on imports of certain U.S. products, including rice, cars and coal, escalating a feud with the United States that has helped trigger a currency crisis.

Beyond the bluster of the two world leaders, the spat between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies has exacerbated a financial storm in Turkey.

Ibrahim Kalin, the special advisor and spokesperson of Erdogan, tweeted that 'Turkish-Qatari relations are based on solid foundations of true friendship and solidarity'.

The currency drop is particularly painful for Turkey because it has accumulated a high debt in foreign currencies.

US sanctions, including the latest round targeting Turkey, undermine all principles of global trade and in time this move will undermine the role of USA dollar as a settlement currency, he said.

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan meets with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in Ankara, Turkey August 15, 2018. Ankara was also ready for such a move in trade with the European Union, he added. And Erdogan held a phone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and planned to speak this week also with France's Emmanuel Macron.

LONDON - Turkey's downtrodden currency, the lira, surged Wednesday morning hours after the country's government levied significant tariffs against American goods in response to what it has called "deliberate attacks" against its economy.

USA sanctions imposed on Turkey are shattering the former's reputation, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

It was unclear, meanwhile, whether the boycott of American electronics would be enforced in any way. Turkey's exports to the United States a year ago amounted to $8.7 billion, making it Turkey's fifth-largest export market.

Attention will turn on Thursday to an address by the finance minister to foreign investors for clues on any change in economic policy.

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Turkey is hiking tariffs on imports of certain United States products in response to American sanctions on Ankara that caused the value of the lira to plunge, a decree published Wednesday said.

Turkey and Qatar have traditionally maintained good ties and Ankara stood by Doha after Saudi Arabia and other Arab states severed diplomatic, trade and travel ties with Qatar previous year, accusing it of financing terrorism, a charge Doha denies.

Trump has repeatedly asked for Brunson's release, while Ankara said the decision was up to the court. A higher court however, was scheduled to review the appeal, the agency said.

Although he was released to home detention, Mr Brunson faces a prison sentence of up to 35 years if he is convicted on both counts at the end of his ongoing trial.

Turkey has meanwhile resisted pressure to release Brunson - who has been held for two years and is now under house arrest - with officials warning it could face further sanctions.

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