Trump says no concessions on Turkey tariffs

President Trump on Monday said he isn’t concerned that tit-for-tat tariffs will harm Europe’s economy while vowing not to make any concessions with Turkey to free a U.S. pastor being detained there.

Trump told Reuters in an Oval Office interview that he thought he had a deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after he worked to help him free a Turkish citizen being held in Israel.

{mosads}In return he thought Erdogan would then release pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been held in Turkey since 2016.

“I think it’s very sad what Turkey is doing,” he said during the interview.

“I think they’re making a terrible mistake. There will be no concessions,” he said.

Ankara has denied ever agreeing to release Brunson.

Trump’s imposition of 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent on aluminum that hit the European Union in late May led to steep retaliatory tariffs by Ankara.

Last week, Trump made a surprise announcement that he would double the metals tariffs because Erdogan is refusing to release Brunson and Turkey’s currency was quickly losing value against the U.S. dollar. 

Turkey has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization over Trump’s tariffs. 

But Trump refused to consider that the tariffs may hurt the European economy.

“I’m not concerned at all. I’m not concerned. This is the proper thing to do,” he said, when asked whether the tariffs could hurt other economies.

In July, Trump and Erdogan met in Brussels during the NATO summit to discuss how to win Brunson’s release, a senior White House official said earlier according to Reuters. 

Trump said he kept his side of the bargain.

“Until now I had a very good relationship as you know with the president,” Trump said.

“I got along with him great. I had a very good relationship. But it can’t be a one-way street. It’s no longer a one-way street for the United States.”

Tags Andrew Brunson Donald Trump Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

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