Turkey, EU agree to move together at WTO against US’ tariffs on steel: Ministry
Turkey and the European Union have decided to move together at the World Trade Organization (WTO) platform against the United States’ planned tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, the Turkish Economy Ministry has announced.
In a written statement on March 6, the ministry said Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci spoke to European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström on the phone regarding the issue and they agreed to move together at the WTO platform.
U.S. President Donald Trump announced on March 1 that his administration would impose a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum, on the grounds that other countries’ trade practices endanger American national security by undermining domestic production.
Turkey is the sixth largest steel exporter to the U.S. after Canada, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico and Russia. Trump’s move has faced a general criticism from many countries and blocs, including the European Union.
“In 2017, Turkey exported $1.2 billion worth of steel and $78.5 million worth of aluminum to the U.S. We have been closely following the issue and will take the required steps at various platforms,” the ministry also added.
Zeybekci and Malmström spoke on the situation, according to the statement.
Tariff on US cotton?
Turkey is planning to impose tariffs on cotton imports from the U.S. in response to Washington’s bid to impose hefty tariffs on foreign steel products, Cemil Ertem, chief economic adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has stated.
“The countries, Turkey in particular, that will be affected by the U.S. decision to raise taxes are now preparing to retaliate through alternative products. For Turkey, that means cotton,” Ertem wrote in a piece published in daily Milliyet on March 6.
Turkey imported cotton products worth about $738 million in 2017, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute’s (TÜİK) foreign trade data.