Turkey vows to defend domestic steel, aluminum exporters against additional US tariffs


The Turkish Trade Ministry has said Turkey would keep defending domestic steel and aluminum exporters on any international platform against additional United States tariffs, which are “against World Trade Organization [WTO] rules.”

The ministry statement came after U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to double tariffson aluminum and steel imports from Turkey to 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

The U.S. had already imposed 10 percent and 25 percent additional tariffs on aluminum and steel imports respectively from all countries on March 23. The U.S.’ additional tariffs on steel imports from Turkey will be effective as of Aug. 13.

“Turkey, as it determines and implements its own trade policy in compliance with the WTO, expects other member countries to comply with international rules,” the Turkish Trade Ministry said in a press release late on Aug. 10.

“We will continue to back our iron, steel and aluminum exporters by defending their interests against illegal practices of other countries on every international platform, especially the WTO,” it added, noting the additional tariffs would negatively affect companies of both countries.

“The U.S. will continue to be our important trading partner,” the ministry also said, calling on the U.S. to return to the negotiating table to resolve the issue through dialogue and cooperation.

Along with other countries, Turkey retaliated to the U.S. March tariffs by slapping import duties on $1.78 billion worth of U.S. products, including coal, paper, nuts, whiskey, autos, machinery and petrochemicals.

Turkey’s iron, steel, and aluminum exports to the U.S. were $1.1 billion in 2017—0.7 percent of total exports, according to the ministry’s statement.

Turkey’s steel exports were valued at $11.5 billion last year, accounting for 7.3 percent of its total exports worth $157 billion, according to the Turkish Steel Exporters’ Association.

The U.S. was the top destination for Turkish steel exports in 2017.

Turkey came in sixth place among the countries the U.S. imported steel from last year, while the share of Turkish steel was 7 percent of total U.S. steel imports.


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