Trump vows to renew 50% steel tariffs against Turkey

Monday, 14 October 2019 01:10:06 (GMT+3)   |   San Diego

US President Donald Trump today announced he would be issuing an Executive Order authorizing the imposition of sanctions against current and former officials of the Turkish government, and any persons contributing to Turkey’s destabilizing actions in Northeast Syria.

“Likewise, the steel tariffs will be increased back up to 50%, the level prior to reduction in May,” Trump said in a written statement. “The United States will also immediately stop negotiations being led by the Department of Commerce, with respect to a $100 billion trade deal with Turkey.”

Trump has not indicated when the sanctions would take effect. At the time of publication, no executive order has been signed.

One SteelOrbis source said that although the day is almost finished, “Turkey is sleeping, but from what I’m hearing, sentiment is extremely pessimistic,” he said, citing a 33,000-ton rebar cargo that’s currently en-route to the United States.

Another source agreed. “Just when you think things with the markets seem to have some clarity to them, not stability, but at least clarity, the President derails everything with a Tweet,” he added. “I’ve been on the phone with customers for the past hour because everyone wants to know how this is going to impact open orders.”

Ascent Consultants Managing Director Matt Beckmann also questions the impact that Trump's Twitter announcement will have on the domestic steel industry.

"Beleaguered steel industry participants, already suffering under a trio of trade issues, oversupply, and soft demand, will again be forced to reevaluate contracts and supply chains on the fly," he said. "Today's announcement also casts significant uncertainty on the longer-term prospects for Trans-Atlantic relations, which likely means more headwinds for economic growth and trade."

Trump issued a controversial order to remove US troops from Northeast Syria late last week. Since that time, the Turkish army has launched a swift attack against Kurdish forces in the region. Many US elected officials have gone on the record to state they believe Trump’s decision was the catalyst spurred the Turkish offensive.

At the end of his statement, Trump pledged the US will “aggressively use economic sanctions to target those who enable, facilitate and finance these heinous acts in Syria. I am fully prepared to swiftly destroy Turkey’s economy if Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path.”

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