UPDATE – Turkey raises tariffs on US-origin products

ADDS BACKGROUND

By Hamdi Celikbas

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey has increased tariffs on several U.S.-origin products, including alcohol and tobacco products and cars, according to a new presidential decree published early Wednesday in the official gazette.

Under the decree, Turkey will raise tariffs to 100 percent on imports of the products.

The new decree amends a presidential decree on July 11.

"Tax rates on imports of some products have been increased on a reciprocal basis against the U.S. administration's deliberate attacks on our economy," Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Twitter.

Among the products are cars, rice, some alcohol and tobacco products and some cosmetic products like sun creams.

On Friday, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said Turkey would retaliate against the raising of steel and aluminum tariffs by the U.S. administration.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy said on Twitter that President Donald Trump's decision, which also violates World Trade Organization rules, does not comply with "state seriousness".

Trump ramped up his attack on Turkey by raising steel and aluminum tariffs to 50 percent and 20 percent respectively.

The U.S. decision is another salvo in the growing dispute between Turkey and the U.S.

Last week, a Turkish delegation returned from Washington with no movement on the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who is under house arrest in Turkey over terrorism charges.

Brunson's charges include spying for the PKK — listed as a terrorist group by both the U.S. and Turkey — and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the defeated coup attempt in Turkey of July 2016.

Turkey and the U.S. are currently experiencing rocky relations following Washington’s imposition of sanctions on Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul for not releasing Brunson.

The two NATO allies have been at odds since the defeated coup, which Ankara accused U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen and FETO of masterminding.

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