International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Turkish Lira hits record low after US says reviewing duty-free access

The Turkish Lira reached a record low against the dollar on Aug. 6, after the Trump administration said it was reviewing Turkey’s duty-free access to the United States market, a move that could affect $1.66 billion of Turkish imports.

The review by the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) office, announced on Aug. 3, came after Ankara imposed retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods in response to American tariffs on steel and aluminum.

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

The currency has lost a quarter of its value this year, battered mainly by concerns about a greater control over monetary policy. On Aug. 6, it touched a record low of 5.18 against the dollar by 0919 GMT. 

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office said the review could affect $1.66 billion worth of Turkish imports into the U.S. that benefited from the Generalized System of Preferences program last year, including motor vehicles and parts, jewelry, precious metals and stone products.

It was unclear whether any large, listed Turkish firms would be hit by the move. Most auto parts suppliers tend to be smaller, unlisted companies. Stocks largely shrugged off the move, with Istanbul’s main stock index down 0.6 percent.

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

Source: Reuters



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