Trump doubles tariffs on steel, aluminum from Turkey

Erdogan says attempts to exert economic pressure on Turkey futile

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he had authorized higher tariffs on imports from Turkey, imposing a 20 percent duty on aluminum and 50 percent one on steel, as tensions mount between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies over Ankara's imprisonment of an evangelical pastor and other diplomatic issues.

A Kremlin source said they talked about projects such as energy, just hours after Donald Trump weighed in on the economic crisis by declaring more Turkish sanctions via Twitter. "Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!" he added.

It has also lost more than 40 percent this year, hitting a new record low after Trump took steps to punish Turkey in a wide-ranging dispute.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lashed out against a shadowy worldwide "interest rate lobby" which he suggested was "campaigning" to harm Turkey's economy, after the lira fell more than 14 percent overnight.

But given the sizeable personal control Erdoğan commands over the running of the Turkish economy - after granting himself the right to appoint the central bank's governors and naming his son-in-law as finance minister - economists reckon the government will attempt to muddle through the country's current problems.

Erdogan's characteristic defiance in the face of the crisis has further unnerved investors.

Erdogan on Thursday portrayed the currency drop as a "campaign" to harm Turkey and called on the people not to worry.

"If you have dollars, euros or gold under your pillow, go to banks to exchange them for Turkish lira".

He appeared to blame foreigners for trying to hurt Turkey, saying: "This will be my people's response against those waging an economic war against us".

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The lira fell as much as 18 per cent against the USA dollar in its worst day since Turkey's financial crisis of 2001. "The dollar, the mollar, will not cut our path", said Erdogan using a figure of speech he repeatedly uses to mock something.

Last week, Mr Erdogan urged Turks to exchange gold and other currency for lira in a effort to boost its value.

The lira dropped as much as 20% against the dollar, its steepest daily drop since at least 2001.

Reuters Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, listens during a news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May in London, U.K., May 15, 2018. The concern is that Turkish borrowers could default on loans from European and perhaps other foreign banks, which would damage those banks' health.

Large sums of borrowing in foreign currencies make Turkey especially vulnerable to a falling domestic currency because it becomes more expensive to pay off those debts.

The report said that the situation is not yet seen as "critical" but Spain's BBVA, Italy's UniCredit and France's BNP Paribas are regarded as particularly exposed.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a group of six major currencies, breached 96, taking it to its highest level since July 2017.

Washington and Ankara are at odds over the detention of United States evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson on terrorism charges in Turkey.

'However, I say it once again from here. While there was no statement from the Turkish side, US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said wide-ranging conversations had been held. He is a self described "enemy of interest rates" and wants banks to lend cheap credit to fuel growth, something experts are anxious could seriously affect the economy.

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