US Threatens More Turkey Sanctions 08/17 06:13
Turkey and the United States exchanged new threats of sanctions Friday,
keeping alive a diplomatic and financial crisis that is threatening the
economic stability of the NATO country.
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- Turkey and the United States exchanged new threats of
sanctions Friday, keeping alive a diplomatic and financial crisis that is
threatening the economic stability of the NATO country.
Turkey's lira fell once again after the trade minister, Ruhsar Pekcan, said
Friday that her government would respond to any new trade duties, which U.S.
President Donald Trump threatened in an overnight tweet.
Trump is taking issue with the continued detention in Turkey of American
pastor Andrew Brunson, an evangelical pastor who faces 35 years in prison on
charges of espionage and terror-related charges.
Trump wrote in a tweet late Thursday: "We will pay nothing for the release
of an innocent man, but we are cutting back on Turkey!"
He also urged Brunson to serve as a "great patriot hostage" while he is
jailed and criticized Turkey for "holding our wonderful Christian Pastor."
U.S. Treasury chief Steve Mnuchin earlier said the U.S. could put more
sanctions on Turkey.
The United States has already imposed sanctions on two Turkish government
ministers and doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports. Turkey
retaliated with some $533 million of tariffs on some U.S. imports --- including
cars, tobacco and alcoholic drinks --- and said it would boycott U.S.
"We have responded to (US sanctions) in accordance to World Trade
Organization rules and will continue to do so," Pekcan told reporters on Friday.
Turkey's currency, which had recovered from record losses against the dollar
earlier in the week, was down about 6 percent against the dollar on Friday, at
Turkey's finance chief tried to reassure thousands of international
investors on a conference call Thursday, in which he pledged to fix the
economic troubles. He ruled out any move to limit money flows --- which is a
possibility that worries investors --- or any assistance from the International
Investors are concerned that Turkey's has amassed high levels of foreign
debt to fuel growth in recent years. And as the currency drops, that debt
becomes so much more expensive to repay, leading to potential bankruptcies.
Also worrying investors has been President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's refusal to
allow the central bank to raise interest rates to support the currency, as
experts say it should. Erdogan has tightened his grip since consolidating power
after general elections this year.