Turkey files WTO complaint against US tariffs

Turkey files WTO complaint against US tariffs
Washington doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey earlier this month in response to the continued detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson.
2 min read
20 August, 2018
Erdogan at an AK group meeting in Ankara [Getty]

Turkey has filed a complaint at the World Trade Organization against the US for imposing additional duties on steel and aluminum, it said Monday. 

US President Donald Trump earlier this month announced on Twitter that he had doubled steel and aluminium tariffs on Turkey amid a row over an American pastor held for almost two years on terror charges.

"Turkey claims that the measures are inconsistent with a number of provisions of the WTO's Agreement on Safeguards and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994," said a statement on the WTO's website.

The first stage in the process is a request for bilateral consultations to attempt to resolve the dispute. It can take years to resolve disputes if WTO trade judges become involved.

The two NATO members are at odds over Turkey's detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson. 

The announcement of the tariffs on 10 August caused the Turkish lira to crash nearly 20 percent, and prompted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to claim his country was victim of a "political plot" and an "economic war".

Turkey subsequently hiked tariffs on imports of several key US products such as rice, hard alcohol, leaf tobacco, cosmetics and cars. 

Earlier today, the Trump administration rejected Turkey's offer to release Bunson in return for clearing a top Turkish bank of billions of dollars in US fines.

Last week, Ankara said Turkey would boycott US electronics and called on citizens to ditch goods made by American firms such as Apple's iPhone.

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