Turkey's Erdogan pledges boycott on US electronics

NEWS 14.08.2018 13:22
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Source: REUTERS/Umit Bektas

According to CNN, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced a boycott of American electronics Tuesday after US President Donald Trump's decision to hike tariffs on Turkish steel imports.

“Whatever we buy from abroad we are going to produce here in better quality and export it. We are going to boycott US electronics,” Erdogan said at celebrations of the 17th anniversary of his Justice and Development Party.

“If they have the iPhone, on the other hand, there is Samsung. In our country we have Venus and Vestel,” he said, referring to a Turkish-made phone brand Vestel.

“What we can do is proved by what we have done so far. Whatever we pay for from abroad, we will do here,” he said.

It is not clear if this will be an official government boycott or just a call to the Turkish public to stop buying American electronics.

Erdogan has remained defiant after Trump doubled tariffs on aluminium and steel imports from Turkey to 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

These import taxes came on top of 10 percent additional tariffs on aluminium and 25 percent on steel from all countries, in a bid by Trump to protect the US steel industry and please voters in America's industrial heartland.

The tariff hikes come amid Trump's concerns over an American pastor, Andrew Brunson, imprisoned in Turkey since 2016. He is accused of involvement with an attempted coup that led to tens of thousands of people being arrested.