Trump doubles steel and aluminium tariffs on Turkey as lira nosedives

Lira historical lows

The Turkish lira hit a record low of 6.24 per dollar on Friday, before recovering to 5.92 _ still down a whopping 7 per cent on the day.

US President Donald Trump says he's just authorised the doubling of steel and aluminium tariffs "with respect to Turkey".

Brunson's charges include spying for the PKK, listed as a terrorist group by both the USA and Turkey, and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the defeated coup attempt in Turkey of July 2016.

Why is the White House hitting Turkey with tariffs? Turkey wants Brunson to stand trial.

Erdogan is preaching calm as his country's currency collapses. All week, the lira has been under pressure, which accelerated with the failure of diplomatic talks in Washington this week. In July, the president warned in a tweet that the U.S. The US responded by imposing sanctions on Turkey and threatening more.

It all started with Turkey's own mistakes - or, more accurately, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's.

FILE PHOTO: A money changer counts Turkish lira bills at an currency exchange office in central Istanbul, Turkey, August 21, 2015.

Turkish newspaper Hurriyet and other media reports quote Erdogan as making the comment to a group of worshippers following traditional Muslim Friday prayers during a visit to the northern city of Bayburt.

"In most cases though, we suspect that this resilience will prove temporary", they said, highlighting expectations of rising USA interest rates and worries over growing USA protectionism.

"Some countries have engaged in behavior that protects coup plotters and knows no laws or justice", he said.

He added: "Relations with countries who behave like this have reached a point beyond salvaging".

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A delegation of Turkish officials held discussions with their counterparts in Washington this week but there was no sign of a breakthrough.

Erdogan's claim of a Western political plot against him sparked alarm in investors and prompted an acceleration in the currency sell-off. If it fell much further, it might push a lot of Turkish banks and businesses that had borrowed in dollars into bankruptcy - assuming they did not get bailed out first.

"At this point, the ball is in Mr Erdogan's court...who is unlikely to back down and will continue to dig himself and the Turkish economy into a deeper hole", Mr Erdemir argued.

A widening rift with the United States, its main North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, and President Tayyip Erdogan's grip on monetary policy under a new powerful executive presidency have helped to drive the lira down by more than 40 percent this year, a particular vulnerability for Turkish banks as over a third of their lending is in foreign currencies.

Erdogan appealed to Turks to exchange dollars and gold for Turkish lira to support the plunging currency.

It said it would support steel and aluminium exporters on all worldwide platforms, and the USA remained an important trade partner.

The dollar rose as exposure to Turkey could impact European banks and spark a domino effect throughout Europe as people begin to pull out of those banks and into the USA, said Gregan Anderson, macroeconomic strategist at brokerage Bulltick LLC.

The lira has been under sustained pressure on foreign exchanges, dropping by nearly 50% against the dollar in the past 12 months. The currency is down about 40 percent so far this year. I refrain from talking about the Central Bank as much as I can and when I have to speak, I use a sensitive language. "I am afraid there will be a bank run in Turkey, people rushing to withdraw their deposits".

The president announced the move on Twitter Friday, saying turkey's currency is rapidly declining against the USA dollar.

"There are historical and geopolitical reasons for limits with relations with Moscow, limits I think we've reached", said worldwide relations expert Soli Ozel of Istanbul's Kadir Has University.

Turkey is world's sixth-biggest steel producer, and eighth largest steel importer for the United States according to the International Trade Administration.

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