Trump cuts steel tariffs on Turkey by half

President TrumpDonald John Trump2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally Trump averages highest approval rating of his presidency in second quarter: Gallup GOP House campaign chair condemns 'send her back' chants: 'There's no place for that kind of talk' MORE announced Thursday that he would reduce tariffs on Turkish steel from 50 percent to 25 percent, returning the tariffs to their August 2018 levels.

Trump doubled tariffs on steel from Turkey last August, but is now cutting those tariffs by half, Trump said in a White House proclamation.

Under the higher tariff, steel imports declined by 12 percent and have declined from Turkey by 48 percent, Trump said in the proclamation.

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"This target level, if maintained for an appropriate period, will improve the financial viability of the domestic steel industry over the long term," Trump said. 

The U.S. and Turkey had been locked in a trade war in August 2018, each slapping retaliatory tariffs on the other and putting intense strain on the two countries' relationship.

The Turkish lira dropped 11 percent against the U.S. dollar after Trump announced he would double steel tariffs on the country, as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warned of a global economic war against Turkey.

Trump announced in August that he would double tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Turkey until it releases U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson, who was arrested in 2016.

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.