May 19 2018

‘We hope to solve the problem of tariffs with US’ - Minister Zeybekçi

Turkey could not remain silent to the new U.S. tariffs on Turkish metals exports and still hopes to find a mutual solution, Turkish Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekçi said today, Dünya newspaper quoted

Turkey is to put $266.5 million dollars’ worth of tariffs on U.S. exports of coal, paper, nuts, tobacco, rice, whisky, automobiles, cosmetics, machine parts and petrochemical products in response to U.S. tariffs on Turkish metals exports.

On March 23, the United States put a 25 percent tariff on imports of iron and steel and 10 percent on aluminium, but excluded various countries including those in the European Union and South Korea, Brazil, Mexico and Canada from the measures.

Donald Trump had repeatedly criticised what he calls the dumping of cheap products in the United States and says undermines domestic manufacturers.

Turkey had sought to be excluded from the measures, but despite Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi and Deputy Prime Minister for the Economy Mehmet Şimşek talking to their U.S. counterparts they were unable to achieve an exemption.

“We hope to increase our trade with the United States and reach rapidly to the goals of $ 20-30 billions. This was not our choice. But as Turkey we could not remain silent to the United States’ attitude,” Zeybekçi said.

Zeybekçi said that Turkey’s new measures would be effective in a couple of weeks. “We hope we can solve this issue with the United State before this period ends. We continue to be in touch. My deputy is right now in the United States. He is discussing that issue with some departments and groups” Zeybekçi added, noting that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also mentioned the problem several times during his phone calls with the U.S. President Donald Trump.