Foreign Policy Trade

Trump Imposes Limp Sanctions (Tariffs) On Turkey

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump has threatened to "destroy" Turkey's economy in response to their invasion of Kurdish territory even though he enabled their invasion, but right now this appears to be all he's got.

Trump has increased tariffs on Turkish steel from 25 to 50 percent in a move that no one is going to give a shit about.

From CNBC:

President Donald Trump signed an executive order sanctioning Turkish officials, hiking tariffs on Turkish steel up to 50% and "immediately" halting trade negotiations with the country, Vice President Mike Pence confirmed Monday. [...]

Shortly before announcing the sanctions and tariff hikes, Trump wrote in a thread of tweets that "Anyone who wants to assist Syria in protecting the Kurds is good with me, whether it is Russia, China, or Napoleon Bonaparte."

You know, foreign and national security policy -- and more specifically the tinderbox of Syria -- is complicated enough without linking it to an incoherent trade war.

Trump originally justified his decision to impose tariffs on Turkish metal by saying it's a threat to the American metal industry, but he's not making any such case now.

To be fair, citing section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to impose tariffs in response to a threat to national security actually makes some sense now, it just didn't make any sense last year when Trump originally imposed tariffs on Turkey.

Exports of metal only represent 6.9 percent of Turkey's total exports and exports to the United States only account for 4.9 percent of Turkey's total exports. Trump's tariffs will effect only a small portion of the Turkish economy and that's why I feel confident in calling them "limp."

Turkey's economy is in trouble, but that was the case before Trump road into town on a pale horse.

  • muselet

    Wow.

    Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has his army committing war crimes against the Kurds as well as firing artillery at US forces, and in response, Donald Trump publishes inane tweets and reimpose tariffs on a tiny part of the Turkish economy.

    Now that’s leadership. *eyeroll*

    –alopecia