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US tariffs on Turkey for national security, will not be lifted: White House

White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said that the sanctions will be lifted even if Turkey released detained American pastor Andrew Brunson

IANS  |  Washington 

US President Donald trump. File Photo
US President Donald Trump. File Photo

The said on Wednesday that the US will not lift sanctions on Turkish steel and aluminium products even if detained American pastor is released.

In a press briefing, spokesperson said, "The tariffs that are in place on steel would not be removed with the release of Pastor Brunson. The tariffs are specific to national security," Xinhua reported.

"The president's been clear about the steel and aluminium industries, steel, particularly, in this case; that those are industries that must be protected. We must have the ability to reach certain levels of manufacturing those products here in the United States for the purposes of national security," she explained.

Earlier, Turkey announced to slap tariffs on American goods.

Sanders responded that "the tariffs from Turkey are certainly regrettable and a step in the wrong direction," adding "certainly we don't support Turkey's decision to retaliate against us protecting our interests."

"The tariffs that the United States placed on Turkey were out of interests, theirs are out of retaliation," she noted, refusing to reveal US further actions to respond to Ankara's statement.

Speaking of Brunson's case, Sanders said, "We feel that Turkey and specifically President have treated Pastor Brunson ... very unfairly, very badly."

"It's something that we won't forget in the administration," she added.

As for the Turkish economy and its currency, Sanders said, "We're monitoring the situation with respect to the Turkish economy and the decline of the lira, but Turkey's economic problems, those are part of a long-term trend, something of its own making and not the result of any actions the United States has taken."

After Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's appeal to boycott US electronic products on Tuesday, signed a decree to raise tariffs on some US imports including cars, alcohol and tobacco, state-run Anadolu agency quoted Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan as saying on Wednesday.

US President tweeted last week that he had authorized to double the tariffs on steel and aluminium products from Turkey to 50 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.

First Published: Thu, August 16 2018. 08:25 IST