Turkey to respond to US over steel, aluminum tariffs by June 21
Emre Özpeynirci - ISTANBUL
Turkey is set to take measures against the United States over its decision to impose tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports by June 21.
Ankara will apply countermeasures on Washington through $266.5 million in additional duties on the imports of 22 U.S. items, including coal, paper, walnuts/almonds, tobacco, unprocessed rice, whiskey, automobiles, cosmetics, machinery and equipment, and petrochemical products, unless Washington abolishes the tariffs.
The highest additional customs duties will be imposed on whiskey and automotive by Turkey with 40 percent and 35 percent, respectively, according to sources close to the matter.
In March, U.S. President Donald Trump imposed a 25 percent tariff on imported iron and steel, and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum on various countries, including Turkey, triggering counter-measures.
In an application document to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on May 22, Turkey announced which items would be included on the country’s countermeasure list worth $266.5 million.
Previously, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci called the tariffs “unacceptable” for Turkey, noting that Turkey would impose countermeasures soon.
Coal and dried nuts
Turkey exported $1.04 billion worth steel and $60 million worth aluminum to the U.S. in 2017. With additional tariffs being imposed by Washington, Turkey will lose $266.5 million, according to calculations. In this vein, Turkey will create a countermeasure burden worth $265.5 million on its imports from the U.S., which were worth $1.8 billion last year.
The highest extra duty will be imposed on Turkey’s high alcohol imports and automotive imports from the U.S. by 40 percent and 35 percent, respectively. While Turkey imported nearly 21 million worth high alcoholic beverages from the U.S. last year, its automotive imports were worth $87 million.
They will be followed by PVC imports by 32 percent in additional duty and make-up products, plastic materials, synthetic cords and construction materials of iron and steel from the U.S. by 30 percent for each.
Turkey will also impose a 10 percent additional duties on its coal imports from the U.S., which represented its largest import item worth of $325.5 million last year. A 5 percent additional duty will be imposed on petroleum coke product imports from the U.S., which became Turkey’s second largest import item in the U.S. market with $291.6 million in 2017.
Dried nuts and fruits were Turkey’s third largest import item in this market, worth $157.4 million. A 5 percent additional duty will be imposed on these products.