Erdogan says Turkey to 'boycott' United States electronic goods

15 August, 2018, 05:11 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Wall Street

"There is a price we're paying for the period we're in", Erdogan said, referring to his country's plummeting currency.

"We will boycott USA electronic goods", Erdogan said in a televised speech, raising the stakes in a spat that has seen the Turkish lira plunge to record lows. But "thanks to God, our economy is functioning like clockwork", he maintained.

The Turkish lira has recently plummeted in value, falling to an all-time low of 7.24 to the dollar on Monday. Because some other emerging markets share Turkey's economic situation, some investors worry that those countries will see a similar trajectory, running into inflation and trouble paying their debt.

The owner of a store that sells goods for brides-to-be said the lira's devaluation against foreign currencies has affected his ability to import goods.

On Monday, Erdogan criticized his American counterpart, saying Washington was seeking to stab Turkey "in the back".

What about the Turkish economy?

And there are already signs that it's dragging down markets in Asia. The Turkish lira is down 41% so far this year, with the South African rand down 13%.

While the economic penalties would probably do little to dent USA economic interests, Erdogan's threat shows that the standoff over the fate of an American pastor held in Turkey isn't going to end soon.

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This follows tariffs emplaced on Turkish metal exports last week by President Donald Trump which has caused a freefall of the Turkish Lira.

The Turkish envoy conveyed the message the pressure and threats would only lead to a "chaos" in relations which could only improve after Washington abandons the language of "threats", Cavusoglu said.

The imprisonment of USA pastor Andrew Brunson has weighed heavily on relations, leading to a series of escalations.

Turkey and the USA are now experiencing rocky relations following Washington's imposition of sanctions on Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul for not releasing American Pastor Andrew Brunson, who faces terrorism charges in Turkey.

The business groups also urged diplomatic efforts with the United States and an improvement in relations with the European Union, which is Turkey's major trading partner. More than 30 percent of the lira's loss has come since June, when Erdogan took over the office with new sweeping powers. Erdogan's authoritarian hand has distanced the country from traditional Western allies and hit confidence. It also indicated it would lend money at interest rates above prevailing market rates, an effective tightening of monetary policy.

Erdogan has not inspired confidence in responding to the lira meltdown. "Meanwhile, the Kurds remain a reality near and within Turkey's borders; a deepening economic crisis makes it increasingly vulnerable; and its erratic regional policy makes it hard to pursue any dialogue that requires trust and steadfastness".

Asked how the Trump administration would react to any such Turkish boycott, Sanders replied during Tuesday afternoon's briefing, "I certainly don't have a policy announcement on that at this point".

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