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Trump Doubles Tariffs On Steel, Aluminum From Turkey


President Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appear in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on May 16, 2017. On Friday, Trump announced he would double aluminum and steel tariffs on the NATO ally.

President Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appear in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on May 16, 2017. On Friday, Trump announced he would double aluminum and steel tariffs on the NATO ally.

Getty Images, Michael Reynolds-Pool

President Trump ordered a doubling of U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Turkey Friday, escalating a diplomatic spat with a key NATO ally.

In a tweet, Trump cited the decline in Turkish currency as justification for increasing tariffs to 50 percent on Turkish steel and 20 percent on Turkish aluminum.

“Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!” Trump tweeted.

Last week, the U.S. sanctioned Turkey’s justice and interior ministers to protest what the administration calls the “unfair and unjust detention” of an American pastor.

While increased tariffs send a diplomatic signal, they are not likely to have a major economic effect in the U.S. According to the Peterson Institute for International Economics, Turkey supplied just 4.2 percent of America’s imported steel and less than 1 percent of imported aluminum last year.

The Turkish lira briefly dropped to a record low on Friday, amid concern over the economic policies of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as well as the diplomatic row with the U.S.

Erdogan reportedly was defiant, telling worshipers after Friday prayers that Turkey “will not lose the economic war.”

The White House also cited currency movements in China last week when Trump called for a possible increase in tariff rates on Chinese imports.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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