After being hit by U.S. tariffs as part of the current ongoing trade wars with European countries and China, Turkey has responded to the Trump administration’s measures with retaliatory tariffs.
The implanted measures affect 1.8$ billion dollars worth of products, which would represent a set of 266.50$ in tariffs. According to the WHO, the affected products include rice, tobacco, paper and coal. The Turkish tariffs, which are between 5% and 40% of the product’s cost, are a response to the 25% and 10% tariffs implemented by the U.S. in steel and aluminum.
Turkey’s Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci has stated that “The total tariff burden today being imposed by Turkey on the U.S. is commensurate with the additional costs Turkey faces due to the tariffs imposed on it by the U.S.,” and stated his belief that the U.S. is wrongly blaming their country for its economic struggle. He highlighted that this measure is not merely targeted to hit the Trump administration back, but to keep Turkey’s best interest in the forefront, as well as leaving space for further dialogue.
This is not the only European country that has responded to the tariffs from the Trump administration. The EU has also implanted substantial tariffs as a counter-measure to Trump’s trade wars. They implanted $1.6 billion in tariffs will be applied to $3.4 billion worth of American goods, mainly for trademark products of American culture, such as blue jeans and bourbon. A spokesperson for the EU has stated that taking this measure was not their first instinct, but that the U.S.’ unjustified tariffs left them no other way to proceed.
President Trump had previously stated that his tariffs on aluminum and steel would not be implemented in key allies, such as Canada or the EU. He was prone to dismiss that ideal by openly targeting said allies and stating that they had given America unfair trade deals and posed a threat to national security.
One of the first world leaders to reach out about the subject was German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who responded immediately to the disastrous rollout of the G-7 summit with President Trump. She addressed Trump’s early departure from the meeting and harsh rhetoric against Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with a tone of disappointment, calling them “depressing” and “sobering”. However, she managed to move on from the initial shock the statements must have had on her administration and stated that European countries will counter the U.S.’ procedures and won’t allow the abuse by the Trump administration to continue.
She remarked that this summit did not mark an end to the relationship between the U.S. and Europe, yet it highlighted the need for the latter to not rely upon its transatlantic partner moving forward. When asked whether she was concerned about Trump would respond to these counter-measures laying high tariffs on cars, she stated that they would try to avoid this procedure and that they would act in a similar manner if they were to be imposed.
The latest measure by the Turkish government has been considered strategic from part of President Tayipp Erdogan. He had previously requested for the holding of the Turkish presidential elections over a year before the scheduled date. This was speculated to have been fueled by the intention of avoiding a projected shake-up in the country, which could bring them to an economic and financial crisis. Erdogan’s campaign was set to be focused on the economic achievements of his 15-year administration of Turkey’s economy, and he had stated his intention of having even more dominance and control over the country’s economics and the Central Bank. This context aligns with the current counter-measures to the American tariffs, and it would not be surprising to see Erdogan addressing it as an accomplishment in the near future.