Turkey: US using sanction, tariffs to sabotage economy of countries

FNA – Turkey called on world nations to form a united front against the US which has imposed sanctions on Ankara, a close ally of Washington in the Middle East.

“It is clearly in the interest of most countries to cooperate in resisting unilateral economic decisions by powerful actors that are motivated by narrowly defined national interests,” Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak wrote in an article published on the Foreign Policy magazine.

Albayrak said US President Donald Trump is using sanctions and tariffs to sabotage the economy of other countries.

“By acting together with Turkey now, other countries can also help it create a common strategy to avoid artificial crises in the future,” the article titled ‘America Can’t Be Trusted to Run the Global Economy’ read.

The US relationship with Turkey is hitting new lows every time Washington announces a new round of sanctions against its longstanding NATO ally. The two states have been at odds over the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson in Turkey.

As the war of words over the pastor escalated, Trump doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkish imports up to 50 and 20 percent, respectively. Ankara retaliated by raising tariffs on 22 American-made products, ranging from cars to tobacco and also filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the US move.

The lira has fallen more than 40 percent against the dollar this year, driving up the cost of food and fuel and sending inflation soaring to 18 percent, its highest in a decade and a half. The government ordered exporters last week to convert 80 percent of their foreign exchange revenue into lira. Turkey’s exports totaled $157 billion last year, according to official data.

In his article, Albayrak stated that the chaos which has afflicted financial markets has nothing to do with economic fundamentals, adding the turmoil has been driven by Washington.

Last week, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at the US for behaving like “wild wolves”, saying Ankara would pursue non-dollar transactions in trade with Russia, Iran and other countries.

American support for the Kurds in Syria is one of several major points of contention between Turkey and the US, which have soured the relations between the two NATO allies in the past several years.

The US has also blocked the sale of American-made F-35s to Turkey in response to Ankara’s decision to purchase the Russian-made S-400 air defense system. However, Turkey intends to press ahead with the purchase, and already made the first payment for the system last year. Russian arms exporter Rosoboron export stated that the first batch of S-400 systems will be delivered to Turkey next year.