Turkey raises tariffs on some US imports, escalates feud

The troubled lira tumbled to record lows against the euro and US dollar early this week. (Reuters)
Updated 15 August 2018
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Turkey raises tariffs on some US imports, escalates feud

ANKARA: Turkey announced Wednesday it is increasing tariffs on imports of certain US products, escalating a feud with the United States that has helped trigger a currency crisis.
In a decision announced in the Official Gazette, Ankara said it was imposing extra tariffs on imports of products including rice, vehicles, alcohol, coal and cosmetics.
Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Twitter that the tariffs on certain products were increased “within the framework of the principle of reciprocity in retaliation for the conscious economic attacks by the United States.”
The Turkish lira has dropped to record lows in recent weeks, having fallen some 42 percent so far this year. The currency has now stabilized at around 6.50 lira against the dollar.
Investors are worried not only about Turkey’s souring relations with the US, a longtime NATO ally, but also Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s economic policies and the country’s high debt accumulated in foreign currencies.
Turkey has accused the United States of waging an “economic war” as part of a plot to harm the country.
Washington has imposed financial sanctions on two Turkish ministers and doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey, as US President Donald Trump tries to secure the release Andrew Brunson, an American pastor being tried in Turkey on espionage and terrorism-related charges.
The decision to impose new tariffs came a day after Erdogan said Turkey would boycott US electronic goods, singling out iPhones. He suggested Turks would buy local or Korean phones instead, although it was unclear how he intended to enforce the boycott.


Renault board to meet on Thursday for Ghosn replacement

Updated 39 min 45 sec ago
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Renault board to meet on Thursday for Ghosn replacement

  • Carlos Ghosn has already been stripped of his positions as chairman of Nissan and Mitsubishi
  • The French government is Renault’s biggest shareholder, with a stake of more than 15 percent

PARIS: French carmaker Renault said Tuesday that it would hold a board meeting Thursday to name a replacement for its boss Carlos Ghosn, who remains in custody in Japan over alleged financial misconduct.
Sources close to the discussions said that the company would put forward Thierry Bollore to replace Ghosn as chief executive and Michelin chief Jean-Dominique Senard as board chairman. Ghosn currently holds both roles.
Ghosn has already been stripped of his positions as chairman of Nissan and Mitsubishi in the wake of the allegations.
The French government, Renault’s biggest shareholder with a stake of more than 15 percent, is particularly keen to see the company appoint a new leader.
Ghosn, who was arrested on November 19, is set to remain behind bars for the forseeable future after a Tokyo court denied him bail on Tuesday.
Prosecutors suspect he under-declared his income in official statements to Nissan shareholders between 2010 and 2015 to the tune of some five billion yen ($46 million), apparently in an attempt to avoid accusations he was overpaid.
A separate but similar charge is that he continued to do this between 2015 and 2018, under-reporting his income by a further four billion yen.
He also faces a complex charge of seeking to shift personal investment losses onto Nissan’s books and transferring company funds to a Saudi contact who allegedly stumped up collateral for him.