Foreign Policy Trade

Turkey Will Retaliate For Trump’s Tariffs

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

I hope you like trade wars connected to real wars because it appears that we're going to get more of both.

Trump announced that he will increase tariffs on Turkish metal in response to their invasion of Kurdish territory in Syria -- a move that hasn't given Turkey any pause -- and Turkish officials now say they'll retaliate.

From Reuters:

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey will retaliate against U.S. sanctions over Ankara’s military operation into northeast Syria, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday, adding that all threats and sanctions against Turkey were unacceptable.

Speaking in parliament, Cavusoglu also said Turkey expected the U.S. Congress to turn back from its “damaging approach”, and added that ties between Ankara and Washington were at a critical juncture. He said he would convey this to a U.S. delegation led by Vice President Mike Pence coming to Ankara.

If Turkey imposes retaliate tariffs on American goods, that probably won't harm our economy any more than Trump's tariffs will harm theirs, but it is one more foreign market that could be cut off by Trump's idiotic impulses.

In that respect, that places Trump's decision perfectly in line with the rest of his trade war. Trump's increased tariffs on Turkish metal won't pause their invasion of Kurdish territory and it won't benefit American businesses. It will essentially accomplish nothing. It will create a void where none previously existed.

There are good reasons why tariffs have never been used by previous administrations the way Trump has used them; reasons why we established a global system of international trade after two world successive world wars. No one wins a trade war and they can lead to shooting wars. Tariffs are not a diplomatic solution; they're a form of punitive and collective punishment.

Our strong economic ties to countries like China -- and everything we stand to lose by severing those ties -- is what prevents us from entering another Cold War.

In related news, Turkish President Erdogan understandably told reporters this morning that they have no idea what Trump really wants.

'Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he could no longer “keep track” of the tweets by his US counterpart Donald Trump as tensions mount over Ankara’s operation against Kurdish fighters in Syria, in comments published Wednesday.

When we take a look at Mr Trump’s Twitter posts, we can no longer follow them. We cannot keep track,” Erdogan told Turkish journalists aboard a plane returning from Baku, in comments carried by the Hurriyet daily.

Trump endorsed Turkey's invasion in a phone call with Erdogan himself and then denounced it publicly, so it's understandable if they don't know what Trump wants.

  • muselet

    It should never have come to this.

    The US is a superpower, but under Donald Trump it hasn’t acted like one. Instead, we have the unedifying spectacle of Trump deferring to Vladimir Putin, handing propaganda victories to Kim Jong-un, picking unwinnable fights with China—and, for that matter, with the EU—and now allowing Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government to kill and displace Kurds who helped the US fight Da’esh in northern Syria (and, not incidentally, shell US forces). In exchange for all these things, Trump got … nothing at all.

    Doyle McManus has a column in today’s LA Times titled “Trump has foreign policy principles: Syria shows how they work. Don’t say you weren’t warned.” In it, McManus argues convincingly that Trump is acting on long-held views, one of which is withdrawing from NATO.

    This is what happens when someone gains office who knows nothing and cares less about the rest of the world. It will be a long time before the US is taken seriously again.

    –alopecia

    • Draxiar

      There’s a lot of work in the decades to come. I wonder if it would be diplomatically savvy to actually apologize to allied nations for trump on behalf of the country. It’s certainly the *right* thing to do from a 12 step program perspective.

      • What?!? Apologize? That’s un-American. Whatever President did that would be totally pussy-whipped! America, Fuck Yeah! Rabble, rabble, rabble, rabble . . .

        • Draxiar

          Yeah that’s pretty much what the GOP cult would do. Always being critical when they’ve failed so spectacularly so many times.