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Trump authorizes doubling of steel, aluminum tariffs on Turkey

Staff Writer |
U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday that he has authorized to double the tariffs on steel and aluminum products from Turkey to 50 percent and 20 percent respectively.

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Tensions ramped up between the two countries over detention of an American pastor by Turkey. Trump tweeted Friday that the U.S.-Turkey ties "are not good at this time!"

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Friday called on his citizens to stay resilient amid the country's struggle with deepening monetary woes.

Erdogan made the remarks in a live speech on TV during a rally in the northern Province of Bayburt of the Black Sea Region, where the Turkish president dismissed concerns over Turkish lira, which plunged to new record lows.

"We are not going to lose the economic war," he told his supporters.

Meanwhile, Erdogan again urged citizens to convert their hard currency and gold into lira to prop up the plunging currency with a "domestic and national stance."

"Convert your dollars, your euros and your gold that you keep under your mattresses in our national currency," he said.

The Turkish president described the campaign as a "national struggle" in response to "those who declared economic war" against Turkey.

Meanwhile, Erdogan ascribed the current "economic problems" to "artificial financial instability waves" stoked by foreign actors, rather than structural issues involving employment or the banking system.

He also blamed foreign meddling in Turkey's economy because of "some bilateral disagreements," hinting at the tension between Turkey and the United States.

Ankara and Washington, two NATO allies, have been at loggerheads over Turkey's detention of the U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson charged with terrorism and espionage, prompting unprecedented U.S. sanctions on two of Erdogan's ministers and threats of wider trade restrictions.

A Turkish delegation returned from talks in Washington on Thursday with no apparent solutions to the ongoing crisis over the fate of Brunson, who was recently released from prison but is remanded under house arrest in western Turkey.

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