Trump Doubles Tariffs on Turkey as Its Currency Craters

WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Friday that he would double the rate of tariffs on imported steel and aluminum from Turkey and cited the rapid depreciation of the Turkish lira in the face of a deepening economic crisis for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Mr. Trump’s abrupt and unilateral action raised the possibility that he could move similarly to increase tariff rates on other trading partners that have seen their currencies fall against the strengthening dollar, most notably China. Rapid depreciation in another country’s currency helps to make their goods cheaper in foreign markets and buoys exports.

It will immediately affect American branches of Turkish steel makers, such as Borusan Mannesmann, a Turkish-owned manufacturer that imports steel pipes from its parent company and finishes them at its plant in Baytown, Tex.

Mr. Trump announced the decision in a Twitter post on Friday morning:

The lira has plunged against the dollar in recent days, as investors’ fears rapidly escalated that the country will not be able to pay its debts. The Turkish lira plummeted against the dollar Friday, dropping by more than 13 percent. The currency has fallen more than 40 percent against the dollar this year, according data provider FactSet.

Matt Phillips contributed from New York.

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The New York Times (sometimes abbreviated NYT and The Times) is an American daily newspaper, founded and continuously published in New York City since September 18, 1851, by The New York Times Company. The New York Times has won 122 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. The paper's print version in 2013 had the second-largest circulation, behind The Wall Street Journal, and the largest circulation among the metropolitan newspapers in the United States. The New York Times is ranked 18th in the world by circulation. Following industry trends, its weekday circulation had fallen in 2009 to fewer than one million.