White House says Turkish sanctions 'regrettable'

White House says Turkish sanctions 'regrettable'

Turkey's finance ministry said on Friday that credit channels would remain open and that it would take measures to relieve banks and the real sector, after the Turkish lira currency crashed to a record low against the dollar earlier this week.

The White House has said that Turkey's tariff hikes on U.S. products in retaliation for sanctions against Ankara were "regrettable" and again called for the immediate release of American pastor Andrew Brunson.

Trump is willing to ramp up sanctions further if Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, refuses to release U.S. pastor, Andrew Brunson.

Turkey Europe
Turkey is beset by a weak currency and tension with the United States

Last week, Trump tweeted that his administration was doubling aluminum and steel tariffs for Turkey, and in response Ankara sharply hiked tariffs on some U.S. products.

The White House on Wednesday condemned Turkey's doubling of tariffs on U.S. cars, alcohol and tobacco imports, calling the action "a step in the wrong direction".

The lira lost strength after Mnuchin's remarks.

More news: Hes innocent: US threatens more sanctions on Turkey if pastor not freed

Meanwhile, as is his wont, U.S. President Donald Trump didn't do anything to help, and in fact made it worse, by hitting Turkey with tariffs over 1) an American pastor being held in the country on charges of espionage, and; 2) the fact that Turkey's currency was cheap.

The US present had harsh words for Turkish officials during the cabinet session, saying, "They have not proven to be a good friend".

He asked Mnuchin for an update on sanctions punishing Turkey for pastor Andrew Brunson's detention.

More news: U.S., China to Resume Trade Talks as Tariffs Bite

In return, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a decree to raise tariffs on American imports including cars, alcohol and tobacco. "Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!" Trump added the pastor is a "very innocent man" and "we got somebody out for him - he needed help getting somebody out of some place". On Tuesday, he said Turkey would boycott US electronic products.

On Monday, the central bank said it would provide all the liquidity Turkish banks needed, as it seeks to keep money flowing in the financial system.

The ministers responded by condemning the sanctions and claiming not to have any economic interests or properties in the United States.

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Turkey has the highest foreign exchange-denominated debt among emerging markets, Societe Generale said in its note on Friday, estimating its short-term external debt at $180 billion (£141.6 billion) and total external debt at $460 billion (£361.9 billion).

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