Turkey lowers tariffs on some US imports to reciprocate US move

Turkey earlier raised tariffs on US cars, alcohol and tobacco imports. (AFP/File)
Updated 22 May 2019

Turkey lowers tariffs on some US imports to reciprocate US move

  • Turkey is decreasing tariffs on US passenger cars, alcoholic drinks, tobacco, cosmetics and PVC
  • The country hopes to boost their trade with the US up to $75 billion

ANKARA: Turkey has reduced tariffs on some US imports in response to a similar United States move to halve tariffs on Turkish steel imports, the official gazette showed on Wednesday.
The United States had doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports last August amid a diplomatic row between the NATO allies that accelerated a fall in the lira. Turkey retaliated by doubling tariffs on US cars, alcohol and tobacco imports.
“Reciprocally we decided to reduce by half the additional duties levied on 22 products originating in the US,” Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan wrote on Twitter.
“With this decision duties levied on the US originating aforementioned products will be reduced from $521.2 million to $260.6 million,” she added.
On Tuesday, Reuters reported Turkey would halve tariffs on passenger cars, alcoholic drinks, tobacco, cosmetics and PVC.
Before the decision, tariffs on US alcoholic drinks stood at 140%, while the rate is at 120% for passenger cars, 50% for PVC and 60% for cosmetic products.
The White House decision last week to halve those tariffs was a rare positive development between Ankara and Washington, but the US administration also terminated Turkey’s eligibility for the Generalized System of Preferences (GTS) program, in a move Turkey said contradicted trade goals.
Pekcan said Turkey would continue working to boost trade with the United States to $75 billion.


Arab News recording exposes Nissan lawyer’s lie on IMF bailout for Lebanon

Updated 01 June 2020

Arab News recording exposes Nissan lawyer’s lie on IMF bailout for Lebanon

LONDON: Arab News has published the recording of an interview with a Nissan lawyer after he denied saying that a bailout of Lebanon by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was linked to the extradition of fugitive tycoon Carlos Ghosn.

The former Nissan chairman fled to Beirut in December from Japan, where he faced charges of financial wrongdoing.

In a story published in Arab News Japan on Saturday, Sakher El Hachem, Nissan’s legal representative in Lebanon, said the multibillion-dollar IMF bailout was contingent on Ghosn being handed back to Japan. 

The lawyer said IMF support for Lebanon required Japan’s agreement. Lebanese officials had told him: “Japan will assist Lebanon if Ghosn gets extradited,” the lawyer said

“For Japan to agree on that they want the Lebanese authorities to extradite Ghosn, otherwise they won’t provide Lebanon with financial assistance. Japan is one of the IMF’s major contributors … if Japan vetoes Lebanon then the IMF won’t give Lebanon money, except after deporting Ghosn.”

On Sunday, El Hachem denied making the comments. “The only thing I told the newspaper was that there should have been a court hearing on April 30 in Lebanon, but it was postponed because of the pandemic,” he said. In response, Arab News published the recording of the interview, in which he can be clearly heard making the statements attributed to him. 

Japan issued an arrest warrant after Ghosn, 66, escaped house arrest and fled the country.