Turkey to boycott U.S. electronic goods

15 August, 2018, 07:54 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Umit Bektas  Reuters

Behind the scenes, however, diplomats resumed contact to ease tensions.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested that Turkey will stick to Samsung and Vestel if U.S. products are banned.

FILE PHOTO: A money changer counts Turkish lira banknotes at a currency exchange office in Istanbul, Turkey August 2, 2018.

Along with a boycott of USA electronics, Erdogan indicated that his government would offer further incentives for companies to invest in Turkey. He suggested Turks would buy local or Korean phones instead of US-made iPhones, though it was unclear how he meant to enforce the boycott.

The lira's plunge - which had been ongoing for weeks - was turned into a rout on Friday when US President Donald Trump tweeted that Washington was doubling aluminium and steel tariffs for Turkey.

Behind the scenes, however, diplomatic dialogue appears to have resumed.

Even though a meeting between National Security Adviser John Bolton and Turkey's USA ambassador on Monday yielded no public progress, the White House is now leading the talks with Turkey over Brunson's release and a host of other issues that have dragged down the alliance.

The lira TRYTOM=D3 -which plummeted to a record low of 7.24 to the dollar at the week's start, rattling global markets- was slightly weaker at 6.415 after rebounding more than 8 percent overnight.

Rather, the only real hope for Turkey to stabilize its currency without resorting to exchange controls or to default on its debt would be for the country to restore investor confidence by seeking an IMF-backed economic stabilization program.

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"They do not refrain from using the economy as a weapon against us, as they tried in the areas of diplomacy, military, or efforts for social and political instability", Erdogan said. However, other countries - such as Mexico and South Africa - also took advantage of low U.S. interest rates in the years after the financial crisis to borrow heavily in dollars and saw their currencies coming under pressure.

The dire state of Turkey's economy may be a effect of a diplomatic misunderstanding between the country's president and Donald Trump.

The finance chief, Berat Albayrak is due to address hundreds of foreign investors on Thursday in a teleconference, the state-run Anadolu Agency said. On Tuesday, he said the government is working on steps to help banks and support companies affected by the currency crisis.

Mr Brunson was released from prison and placed under house arrest last month after serving 21 months in pre-trial detention in a Turkish prison on charges related to the 2016 attempted coup in Turkey. It was not clear when the court would consider the appeal.

Brunson has already denied the charges, calling them "shameful and disgusting".

How much has Turkey's currency dropped?

In a direct threat against the White House, Erdoğan warned United States president Trump, who signed off the sanctions, of unspecified consequences for punishing Turkey.

Synnex Technology (聯強), Acer (宏碁), and Asus (華碩) all reportedly have productions facilities in Turkey, and will certainly be impacted by the trade spat and the crash of the lira.

Independent economists caution it would be hard to unseat the dollar as the top reserve currency as it is used widely in the global economy, for example to trade in oil and for commercial deals. "Such policy can't be a basis for normal dialogue and it can't last long". "I believe in my nation", Erdogan vowed, the New York Times reported. Earlier this week it was reported that Erdogan has accused the United States of stabbing them in the back.

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