Qatar pledges $15 billion of investment in Turkey

Turkish lira

Turkey retaliated with some $533 million of tariffs on some U.S. imports - including cars, tobacco and alcoholic drinks - and said it would boycott USA electronic goods, singling out Iphones.

Trump, who doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey, said the steel tariffs have kicked in the aluminum tariffs will take effect soon.

The investment package was announced after Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani met President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Wednesday.

Doha has United States dollars 20 billion worth of investments in Turkey, official figures showed last month, and Ankara is now one of the top exporters to the emirate.

The White House has said that Turkey's tariff hikes on United States products in retaliation for sanctions against Ankara were "regrettable" and again called for the immediate release of American pastor Andrew Brunson.

President Trump has ramped up the pressure on the NATO ally as he tries to win the release of Andrew Brunson, a pastor from North Carolina who's on trial for espionage and terrorism-related charges.

The row with Washington has helped drive the lira to record lows, with the currency losing more than 40 per cent of its value against the dollar this year, prompting central bank liquidity moves to support it.

"The tariffs from Turkey are certainly regrettable and a step in the wrong direction", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters.

Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan told the state run Anadolu news agency that the doubling of tariffs on some imported USA products would amount to $533m.

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The lira had already rebounded about 8 percent on Tuesday on news of a planned conference call on Thursday in which the finance minister will seek to reassure global investors.

The lira was trading on Wednesday at 6.02 to the dollar, a gain in value on the day of 5.5 percent.

Additionally, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday visited Ankara, where he said Moscow has been exploring for some time using national currencies to settle bilateral trade deals with Turkey and other countries.

Markets have been concerned by Erdogan's influence over the economy and his resistance to interest rate increases to tackle double-digit inflation.

But the U.S. insists Andrew Brunson, a long-time Turkish resident who ran the tiny Izmir Resurrection Church, is "a victim of unfair and unjust detention".

"The US is our major trade partner but it's not the only one", Pekcan, the trade minister, was quoted as saying by the official Anadolu news agency.

Erdogan spoke on the phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday, the Turkish presidency said while he is due to speak with French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday.

He asked Mnuchin for an update on sanctions punishing Turkey for pastor Andrew Brunson's detention.


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