US President Donald Trump on Thursday, May 16, signed a proclamation proclaiming a series of economic measures against Turkey. Thus, the head of the White House ceased the regime of trade preferences introduced in 1975. At the same time, Trump reduced the tariffs on imports of Turkish steel by half – up to 25 percent.
“I decided that it would be expedient to deprive Turkey of the status of a beneficiary country from May 17, 2019, taking into account its level of economic development,” the American leader said.
Prior to this, Turkey was subject to the Unified System of Trade Preferences, which implied a reduction in duties on a number of goods. The revision of this policy began in August 2018 amid growing tensions in bilateral relations.
Turkey’s conflict with the United States worsened in May 2019 against the backdrop of Ankara’s planned purchase of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft systems. This intention causes a tough US opposition, since the use of the S-400, from the point of view of Washington, is incompatible with the defensive systems used in NATO.
In the fourth quarter of last year, amid US actions, Turkey’s GDP fell by 2.5 percent – for the first time in ten years, a recession was recorded in the country. According to the National Statistical Office, from December last year to February, current unemployment was a record 14.7 percent over the decade, while among young people this figure reached almost 27 percent. Since the end of 2017, the rate of the Turkish lira has fallen by almost 30 percent.