News 17 august — 13:40

Ankara will respond to new U.S. sanctions

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Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan on Friday said, “We have responded [to U.S. sanctions] within the context of the rules of the World Trade Organization and will continue to do so,” after the U.S. threatened to impose more sanctions on Turkey in an escalated row between the two NATO allies, Yeni Şafak reports.

Turkey and the U.S. are currently experiencing rocky relations after Washington imposed sanctions on two Turkish ministers for not releasing American pastor Andrew Brunson.

President Donald Trump said on Thursday the United States "will pay nothing" to Turkey for the release of Brunson, who he called "a great patriot hostage."

“Turkey has taken advantage of the United States for many years. They are now holding our wonderful Christian Pastor, who I must now ask to represent our Country as a great patriot hostage. We will pay nothing for the release of an innocent man, but we are cutting back on Turkey!” Trump tweeted.

Threats from top U.S. officials targeting Turkey continued with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who said at a cabinet meeting that sanctions were ready to be put in place if Brunson was not freed.

"We have more that we are planning to do if they don't release him quickly," Mnuchin said during the meeting.

President Donald Trump on Friday ramped up his attack on Turkey by doubling U.S. tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports to 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

On Wednesday, Turkey increased tariffs on several U.S.-origin products, including alcohol and tobacco products and cars in retaliation.

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