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Turkey issues retaliatory tariffs on US imports

There is an increasing risk of lower-level Turkish officials, acting on their own initiative, taking measures against U.S. individuals and companies, including arbitrary regulatory inspections, scrutiny over existing state contracts, as well as deliberate difficulties for USA citizens in customs.

On August 8, talks between the US and Turkey stalled again and two days later, Trump tweeted he would double steel and aluminium tariffs.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies the United States and Turkey have been at loggerheads over a wide range of topics including diverging interests in Syria, Ankara's ambition to buy Russian defence systems and Andrew Brunson, a pastor on trial in Turkey for terrorism charges.

Turkey is boosting tariffs on imports of certain US products, including rice, cars, alcohol, coal and cosmetics - escalating a feud with the United States that has helped trigger a currency crisis.

Ankara said it will impose extra tariffs on imports of products including rice, vehicles, alcohol, coal and cosmetics.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said in recent public speeches that Turkey and its economic allies do not need to use the dollar to conduct bilateral trade.

Earlier on Wednesday, Erdogan spoke on the phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Turkish presidency.

On Monday, the U.S. president signed a defense authorization act that notably prohibits the delivery of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft to Turkey if it buys Russia's S-400 air defense system.

In a joint statement Tuesday, Turkish business groups called on the government to institute tighter monetary policy in order to combat the currency crisis.

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After reaching record lows on Monday, the lira rebounded to stronger than 6.0 against the dollar on Wednesday.

White House Press secretary Sarah Sanders claimed that while USA tariffs on Turkey were "out of national security interests", Turkey's were "out of retaliation".

Brunson's lawyer Cem Halavurt told AFP that a higher court would also discuss his appeal for Brunson's release.

The decree said the move brought tariffs to 50 percent on imports of USA rice, 140 percent on hard alcoholic drinks like spirits, 60 percent in leaf tobacco and 60 percent on cosmetics.

He said: "If they have the iPhone, there is Samsung elsewhere".

The hikes were published in Turkey's Official Gazette in a decree signed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The United States and Turkey also have diverging interests over Syria, which is enmeshed in a protracted civil war.

A court in Turkey has rejected an appeal by an American pastor, who faces terrorism charges, to be released from house arrest and for his travel ban to be lifted.

On Wednesday, a court in Izmir, where Brunson is on trial, rejected his appeal to be released from house arrest.

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