Trump’s Trade War With Turkey is Bad News for… Tennessee?

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Turkey's economy was sliding into the gutter even before Trump imposed more tariffs in his diplomatic dispute over an American Christian pastor accused of conspiring against Erdogan's regime, but Trump certainly made things worse.

But Trump didn't just make things worse for Turkey and any American business that may have been purchasing Turkish steel or aluminum, it appears he has also made things worse for retirees in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS), the pension fund for public employees, is apparently invested in Turkish securities.

The Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS), which manages a retirement plan for public employees statewide, was the largest institutional shareholder in the U.S.-based iShares MSCI Turkey ETF, according to Thomson Reuters data based on public filings as of June 30, with more than with 880,000 shares valued at around $19 million as of Friday’s value.

The Turkey ETF has lost around half its value for the year to date, hit by worries about Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's influence over monetary policy and a worsening diplomatic rift with the United States. [...]

“It is a obviously a frustrating situation and it’s a real shame what’s happening in the country,” Michael Brakebill, TCRS’s chief investment officer, said in an interview on Friday.

There is a 99.9 percent chance that neither Trump or anyone else in the White House knew this about when they doubled their tariffs on Turkish metal.

I didn't know about it, but I'm not a government official responsible for knowing these kinds of things.

Perhaps someone could have informed the White House if they went through a formal process to impose tariffs rather than imposing them because Trump tweeted it. Maybe these decisions should be vetted before they're imposed. Maybe -- I know this is a stretch -- but maybe Congress should hold hearings on Trump's global trade war. Congress may want to even consider stopping it.

  • muselet

    This is why past presidents have spent a great deal of time and effort to study the unintended consequences of their actions.

    I’d make a reference to the “monkey with a machine gun” meme, but that’s so three years ago.


  • Can Congress stop the trade wars and if so, how? I need some edumacation on this.

    • JMAshby

      They could change the law he’s abusing to impose tariffs.

      He’s been invoking Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 which allows the president to impose tariffs for national security reasons.The law was passed under President Kennedy to give him more power to reduce or eliminate tariffs, but Section 232 also give him more power to scrutinize imports from countries that may be in league with the Soviet Union, mainly Cuba. Section 232 was suppose to be a safeguard, not a weapon.

      The last time Section 232 was invoked before Trump was 1982. I wasn’t even born yet the last time the law was used for this reason.

      The White House hasn’t even vaguely supported the notion their tariffs are for national security.

      • Badgerite

        Misuse and abuse of power defines trump.

      • Well saying Congress could, doesn’t mean they would. Certainly not THIS Congress.

  • Aynwrong

    Trump just wants to Make Tennessee Great Again!©®™