Turkey Enters Trade Tussle

U.S. and Turkish flags

Aug 15, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn (RFD-TV) Turkey raises tariffs on some U.S. Agricultural goods – extending a fight between the two nations that sent Turkey’s currency plummeting. The new taxes include U.S. tobacco, rice, and coal. The move comes after the Trump Administration made plans to double tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum. While Turkey’s announcement didn’t include imports of U.S. dried distillers grains, AgriCensus reports they could be another target if the tiff continues. However, Turkish officials say the country would rather resolve issues than start a trade war.

On other fronts in the trade war, newly passed legislation signals another blow in the U.S.-China trade war. President Donald Trump signed into law an overhaul of how foreign investments in U.S. companies are regulated. Politico reports that the bill was introduced primarily to repel threats from China. Even with the new law in place, U.S. Ambassador Terry Branstad says there have been talks with Chinese officials over the past two weeks. He says the administration’s goal is to double ag exports to China over the next five years.

And with Mexican negotiators in Washington again this week, trade experts watch whether talks could be moving towards a final deal on a modernized NAFTA, or whether a U.S.-Mexico agreement is more likely. Darci Vetter, former U.S. Chief Ag Negotiator, says that completing a NAFTA deal soon is vital for farmers who face market uncertainty across the board. Without that certainty, she says, even U.S. businesses and producers may look to invest overseas where they have more confidence in their market access in the long-term. In addition to more than a year of tense renegotiations, U.S. agricultural goods face tariffs in Mexico due to retaliations against U.S. steel and aluminum taxes. Officials have signaled that if a deal is reached those tariffs would be lifted.

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