Economy Foreign Policy

Turkey Announces Retaliatory Tariffs on American Goods

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

So, this was the most predictable thing in the world right now.

When Trump announced that he would double tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from Turkey in response to a minor diplomatic dispute, it became inevitable that Turkey would respond in kind.

The Turkish government announced this morning that it would impose retaliatory tariffs on an equal amount of goods totaling approximately $1 billion.

A calculation by Bloomberg shows the items listed in the decree accounted for $1 billion of imports last year, similar to the amount of Turkish steel and aluminum exports that were subjected to higher tariffs by President Donald Trump last week. The decision shows Turkey giving a proportionate response to American “attacks” on the Turkish economy, Vice President Fuat Oktay said in a Tweet.

Turkey will impose an additional 50 percent tax on U.S. rice, 140 percent on spirits and 120 percent on cars. There are also additional charges on U.S. cosmetics, tobacco and some food products.

You may or may not have agreed with Trump's initial decision to impose tariffs on foreign metal which the Turkish government had already retaliated for, but this is something else entirely.

These tariffs are not being imposed for economic or "national security" reasons; they're being imposed because Turkish security officials arrested and charged an American Christian pastor.

Even business owners who halfheartedly support Trump's trade war have to be thinking they didn't sign up for this. They didn't sign up to pay for Trump's whimsical dominance moves and petty diplomatic disputes. They didn't sign up to martyr themselves on behalf of Trump's evangelical base of support which has all but called for him to declare war on Turkey.

Or maybe they did. After all, to support anything Trump does is to support the unintended consequences of it.

Trump is playing with the livelihood of entire industries one tweet at a time.

  • muselet

    First, China, Canada, Mexico and the EU didn’t prostrate themselves before Donald Trump and beg for mercy, but instead imposed new tariffs. Now Turkey isn’t simply acceding to his whims.

    The world isn’t behaving the way he expects, and I daresay Trump is very confused right now. Does anyone believe he’s capable of a mature, reflective response to this?


  • Aynwrong

    Trump knows who put him into the White House. It wasn’t Republican businessmen who believe in the infallibility of the free market. They’re just the ones who signed the checks. It was the evangelical right and aggrieved white Republican voters voting their racism. In order to keep those two groups satisfied until 2020 he’ll happily burn down anyone’s economic interests save his own.

    Ya get what ya pay for.