President Donald Trump announced plans Friday to double tariffs on steel and aluminum in Turkey amidst a fight to get an American pastor released.
“Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Trump commented on the issue as the Turkish lira has fallen 36 percent in 2018, and the country faces increasing debt without foreign investment.
“I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!” Trump wrote. “Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%.”
Trump has tried to force Turkey to free American pastor Andrew Brunson, who was detained by authorities in the country as part of a crackdown in 2016:
A total disgrace that Turkey will not release a respected U.S. Pastor, Andrew Brunson, from prison. He has been held hostage far too long. @RT_Erdogan should do something to free this wonderful Christian husband & father. He has done nothing wrong, and his family needs him!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2018