WASHINGTON – Turkey fired the latest salvo Wednesday in its growing confrontation with the Trump administration by imposing heavy tariffs on products imported from the United States, including cars, alcohol and tobacco. Less than a week after President Donald Trump announced that he would increase duties on steel and aluminum from Turkey, Turkish officials retaliated with new duties on nearly two dozen U.S. goods.
Turkey placed a 140 % tariff on U.S. alcohol, 120 percent on passenger vehicles and 60 % on tobacco. Other products subject to new tariffs include rice and nuts, cosmetics, uncoated paper and machines and mechanical appliances, KGW8 Local News reports.
“In response to deliberated and continued trade tensions, Turkey has again raised tariffs on key U.S. imports. Trade wars help no one, but Turkey will do what is necessary to protect our industries and economy from assault.” ~ Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan
A decree published in Turkey’s official gazette and signed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan doubled the tariffs on passenger cars to 120 percent, on alcoholic drinks to 140 percent, and on tobacco to 60 percent.
President Trump has ramped up the pressure on the NATO ally as he tries to win the release of Andrew Brunson, a pastor from North Carolina who’s on trial for espionage and terrorism-related charges.
“The United States will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson, a great Christian, family man and wonderful human being. He is suffering greatly. This innocent man of faith should be released immediately!” ~ President Trump
Brunson, who is under house arrest, faces 35 years in prison if convicted and the Turkey court denied Brunson’s appeal.
Evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson is standing trial in Turkey over terrorism charges. His case now lies at the heart of a diplomatic crisis between Turkey and the United States that has sent the Turkish lira into free-fall.
The case now lies at the heart of a bitter row between NATO allies Turkey and United States, which have been growing apart for years over a series of disagreements on Syria, their perception of security threats and defense deals.
The evangelical pastor is accused of terrorism charges and aiding the network of a US-based Islamic preacher blamed by Ankara for masterminding a coup attempt in July 2016 against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, New York Post reports.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.