0759 GMT August 19, 2018
The US president said on Friday that he would double the rate of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Turkey.
In a message posted on his official Twitter account on Saturday, Zarif warned that Washington has to put aside its addiction to sanctions or face the world in the near future.
“Trump's jubilation in inflicting economic hardship on its NATO ally Turkey is shameful. The US has to rehabilitate its addiction to sanctions & bullying or entire world will unite — beyond verbal condemnations — to force it to,” Zarif tweeted.
“We’ve stood with neighbors before, and will again now.”
In a Twitter post on Friday morning, Trump said the United States would bump Turkey’s aluminum tariffs to 20 percent and steel tariffs to 50 percent and cited the country’s deteriorating currency, the Turkish lira. “Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!” he said.
While the US president’s decision is primarily aimed at punishing Turkey over its failure to return the American pastor, Andrew Brunson, the decision spooked markets and raised the possibility that he could similarly raise tariff rates on other trading partners that have seen their currencies fall against the strengthening dollar, most notably China.
Trump has already threatened to increase tariff rates on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent, in part because of sharp decline in its currency.
Zarif had earlier offered support for Turkey following the imposition of the US sanctions.
The moves stem from Trump’s frustration over the detained American pastor held by Turkey on what US officials say are bogus charges, two informed sources told CNN.
Earlier this month, the US imposed sanctions on two Turkish ministers over the case of the American pastor detained in Turkey over suspicions of plotting against the Turkish government.