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Lira Hits Record Low as US Reviews Turkey’s Duty-Free Access to Its Market

Monday 6 August 2018
Lira Hits Record Low as US Reviews Turkey’s Duty-Free Access to Its Market

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Alwaght– Turkey's currency fell to a record low against the dollar on Monday, after the US administration announced reviewing Turkey’s duty-free access to its market.

According to Reuters, the Turkish lira has lost a quarter of its value this  and on Monday, it touched a record low of 5.18 against the dollar. The move could affect some $1.66 billion of Turkish imports into the US, the news agency added.

The review by the US Trade Representative’s office, announced on Friday, came after Ankara imposed retaliatory tariffs on US goods in response to American tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Relations between the NATO allies have steadily worsened, strained by differences over Syria policy and an escalating row over the trial in Turkey of an American Christian pastor, Andrew Brunson. That friction has exacerbated the sell-off in the lira.

Data from the US International Trade Commission showed that the biggest beneficiary of the duty-free program were auto and auto parts makers, with imports of nearly $250 million. That was followed by precious stones and metals, at nearly $210 million.

A USTR spokeswoman said the review was unrelated to issues surrounding Brunson, - a case that has prompted US sanctions against two Turkish cabinet ministers.

Erdogan said on Saturday the sanctions by Washington against his ministers were disrespectful and that Turkey would retaliate by freezing assets of U.S. interior and justice ministers.

Bilateral relations have plummeted over the fate of Brunson, who was held in a Turkish prison for 21 months until he was transferred to house arrest.

Brunson, who has lived in Turkey for more than two decades, faces up to 35 years in jail if found guilty of the charges, which he denies.

 

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