Turkey's Erdogan Threatens Boycott of US Goods

America's Lengthening Enemies List

Turkey's Erdogan Threatens Boycott of US Goods

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that his country will ban USA electronics after a diplomatic feud pushed it into a currency crisis.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures prior to delivering a speech in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018.

Since January, the Turkish lira has lost more than 34 percent of its value against the dollar, pushing up the price of everyday items.

As a result, Turkey needs to tap the global financial market for around $250 billion a year if it is to stay afloat and not default on its external debt obligations.

He noted that "defaults and hence a recession in Turkey are becoming increasingly likely", and "ditto for Argentina", which has seen its USA -dollar debt surge to 18.4 per cent of GDP versus 6.7 per cent two years ago. The country's finance minister - who is also Mr Erdogan's son-in-law - will seek to reassure around 1000 worldwide investors in a teleconference scheduled for Thursday.

The currency was supported by remarks from Turkish finance minister Berat Albayrak, who told a news conference the lira will strengthen.

"W$3 e're probably likely to see more of these crisis in emerging economies as the US Federal Reserve raises interest rates, making life for all dollar-exposed economies much more hard", economic writer Ed Conway said on Twitter.

After the USA imposed sanctions on two Turkish ministers and amid growing domestic pressure from businesses and banks to contain a currency crisis, Erdogan said he wouldn't back down in the face of the economic attack against his country.

"Most of the products we sell come from overseas, the raw materials. In our country we have Venus and Vestel", he said, referring to a Turkish-made phone made by electronics manufacturer Vestel.

This follows tariffs emplaced on Turkish metal exports last week by President Donald Trump which has caused a freefall of the Turkish Lira.

Turkey has 'only days' to resolve lira crisis, analysts warn
But there are fears that Mr Erdogan, who is famously averse to interest rate rises, may be pressuring the central bank not to act. As the crisis deepened at the end of last week, the lira (the Turkish dollar ) and the Turkish stock market slid sharply.

"We will boycott United States electronic goods", Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara, again showing no sign of compromise in the dispute.

"If we divert our money to foreign currency.then we will be in the position of having surrendered to the devil", Erdogan said.

How can a country where the entire market cap of Turkish equities traded on the Istanbul Stock exchange is less than the market cap of Netflix wreak such havoc?

Turkey's Central Bank has stepped in with measures it hopes will reassure Turks and financial markets.

"What you want to see is tight monetary policy, a tight fiscal policy and a recognition that there might be some short-term economic pain - but without it there's just no credibility of promises to restabilise things", said Craig Botham, Emerging Markets Economist at Schroders.

The tension between the two states stemmed out of a recent skirmish over a U.S. pastor Andrew Craig Brunson who was sentenced to nearly two years in prison on terror charges.

However, severe changes in the value of the currency calmed Tuesday after news that US national security adviser John Bolton had met with the Turkish ambassador to Washington Monday.

Erdogan's arrogance, hot temper, dictatorial powers, and appetite for scapegoating make investors even more nervous. "I believe in my nation", Erdogan vowed, the New York Times reported.

There is no sign of a halt to the deteriorating relationship between the United States and Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ally, host for the strategically important U.S. Air Force base at Incirlik and gateway to the Black Sea for the U.S. Navy.

Ankara has repeatedly said the Brunson case was up to the courts and a Turkish judge moved Brunson from jail to house arrest in July.

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