President Donald Trump said Thursday that he would return steel tariffs on Turkey to their August 2018 levels, announcing a reduction from 50 percent to 25 percent.
He confirmed the tariff cut in a White House proclamation, saying in it that the higher tariffs had led to a 12-percent fall in steel imports and a 48-percent decline in imports from Turkey.
“This target level, if maintained for an appropriate period, will improve the financial viability of the domestic steel industry over the long term,” President Trump said, according to The Hill.
The two NATO allies were involved in a trade war last August, imposing retaliatory tariffs on each other and straining relations between the two countries.
Following last year’s announcement by Trump that he would double tariffs on Turkish steel imports, the Turkish lira dropped 11 percent against the dollar. The country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warned at the time of a global economic war against Turkey.
President Trump’s move came after Turkey arrested U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson and later convicted him in 2016 on charges of aiding terrorism.
Ankara retaliated soon after, moving to impose a 50 percent tax on U.S. rice, 140 percent on spirits, 60 percent on tobacco and 120 percent on cars while increasing duties on a variety of other goods.