White House condemns Turkey´s tariffs on USA imports


President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Turkey's latest salvo Tuesday, saying his country will boycott USA -made electronic goods and turn to other manufacturers including South Korea's Samsung or Turkey's Vestel.

The Lira has lost more than 40 percent against the dollar this year, driven by worries over Erdogan's growing influence over the economy.

Kalin also told a news conference on Wednesday that Turkey will take a positive stance towards trading in national currencies to escape from U.S. dollar pressure.

On Monday, the United States president signed a defense authorization act that notably prohibits the delivery of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft to Turkey if it buys Russia's S-400 air defense system.

The lira was trading on Wednesday at 6.02 to the dollar, a gain in value on the day of 5.5 percent. Although no further detail on the length and implementation of the boycott was provided, but significantly, the transcript of Erdoğan's speech on the Turkish presidency's website omitted the boycott announcement.

"If they have the iPhone, there is Samsung", the Turkish president said.

Switching to foreign currency would mean giving in to the enemy, he added.

The duties were raised in response to the USA administration's "deliberate attacks on our economy", Vice President Fuat Oktay said. "They are killing offshore lira liquidity to stop foreigners shorting the lira".

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker tweeted Tuesday that he was delighted by the news of the soldiers' imminent release and that Turkey had "nothing to fear" from its European neighbors.

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The Turkish government said tariffs on American cars will be doubled to 120 percent while those on alcoholic drinks will be hiked by the same rate to 140 percent.

Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, voiced support for Turkey during a joint news conference with his Turkish counterpart in Ankara on Tuesday, stating both countries plan to switch from dollars to national currencies for their mutual trade.

The United States was the fourth largest source of imports to Turkey past year, accounting for $12 billion of imports, according to International Monetary Fund statistics.

Brunson, a Christian pastor from North Carolina who has lived in Turkey for more than two decades, was indicted on charges of helping the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), which is responsible for the failed 2016 coup, as well as for supporting the PKK.

Erdogan has said Turkey is the target of an economic war, and has made repeated calls for Turks to sell their dollars and euros to shore up the currency.

The pastor is now being held under house arrest.

Turkey, which has a military base in Qatar, rushed through supplies to the Gulf state after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt imposed the boycott.

A higher Turkish court was still considering the appeal and Brunson's lawyer, Ismail Cem Halavurt, told CBS News on Wednesday that he would not consider the appeal formally rejected until the higher court issues it's ruling.