By on August 15, 2018

In Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Kurtz has an epiphany regarding himself, imperial conquest, and war as a whole, crying “The horror! The horror!” in his last moments of life. His experiences took him from a well-meaning businessman to a megalomaniacal warlord, only able to realize the full scope of his own corruption upon his death. Trade wars contain significantly less drama than real ones, but there is never a shortage of egotistical individuals falling down a rabbit hole of madness.

This week, a decree signed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised the tariff on U.S. cars to 120 percent. While this doesn’t qualify as truly horrific, it certainly could head in that direction if things continue to escalate. 

Erdogan’s decision came after the United States imposed new sanctions in response to human rights abuses. Turkey imprisoned over 50,000 individuals, including 20 Americans, following a failed coup d’état in 2016. The White House claims American citizens have been wrongfully imprisoned and is likewise displeased that the nation chose to purchase a missile defense system from Russia.

Long story short, Erdogan told the U.S. to kick rocks. The Turkish leader remains  incredibly vocal about how little he seems to like Western leaders making moral judgements about Turkey — which has seen the incumbent party jailing political opponents, undertaking election fraud, and the possibility of endorsing religious violence. The response? Economic sanctions. President Trump announced plans to further hike tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum, which led to Turkey affixing huge tariffs to American alcohol, tobacco, and cars.

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Twitter that the measures were in response to “the deliberate attack of the U.S. administration on our economy.”

Turkey has a sizable automotive industry for a European nation, exporting over $25 billion in vehicles (a lot of them buses) and parts every year. It also has facilities owned by Toyota, Honda, Fiat, Renault, Hyundai, and Ford that export globally. Production output is booming, with the country’s automotive associations predicting $30 billion in car-related exports by the end of 2018. But only a sliver of that will come from North America.

While the direct exchange of of passenger vehicles between the two nations is minimal, Turkey does (or did) export the Ford Transit Connect to the United States. Assuming the U.S. plays this out and imposes car tariffs of its own, those vehicles may have to be sourced entirely from Spain. The future of the Toyota C-HR could also get a little dicey, since the manufacturer currently ships North American-spec models in from the country. That is, of course, only if the U.S. imposes retaliatory auto tariffs.

However, the real risk involves future investments. Turkey wants companies throwing money at it to further bolster its automotive industry, which has been the case lately. While it’s currently the 5th largest automotive manufacturer in Europe, it’s swiftly climbing the ladder. Trade issues could cause investors to shy away from it in the future, especially if European nations follow the U.S. by imposing economic sanctions of their own.

[Source: Bloomberg]  [Image: Hyundai Assan Otomotiv]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

63 Comments on “Trade War Watch: Turkey Readies 120 Percent Tariff On American Cars...”


  • avatar
    ejn63

    “Turkey does export the Ford Transit Connect to the United States”

    I think they did at one time – but the current model is built in Spain. The RAM Promaster City is built in Turkey though.

  • avatar
    Carrera

    Wow, yes, we are in trouble. The 10 cars we sell per year to Turkey will bankrupt USA.

  • avatar
    volvo

    How many cars are exported from the US to Turkey? I did not see that in the article.

    • 0 avatar
      TwoBelugas

      maybe I missed it in the article, what was the Turks’ tariff on American cars before?

      • 0 avatar
        chrishs2000

        Yeah, this article is just a rehash of any other site’s news article on the same topic. Why not even make a small effort to do a little research???

        • 0 avatar
          chrishs2000

          According to a website that appears to have actually done said research, it is currently 35%. In 2017, Turkey collected $30 million just for US automobiles. So that’s annual sales of roughly $87mio. Who cares about Turkey’s tariffs on US automobiles?

          • 0 avatar
            brn

            Thanks Chris.

            Looking at the timestamps between your posts, it took you no more than six minutes to dig that up. Matt, take a hint.

          • 0 avatar
            chrishs2000

            Including 4 minutes of changing google search terms to avoid eleventy billion of the exact same article as this one from showing up.

            At $20,000 avg transaction price it works out to 4350 American vehicles imported into Turkey. LOL. This is such a non-story it’s not even funny. If anything, I see it as a last ditch effort by an incompetent administration to save the quickly collapsing economy through import revenues. Great idea!!!

          • 0 avatar
            brn

            “Including 4 minutes of changing google search terms to avoid eleventy billion of the exact same article as this one from showing up.”

            Sounds like a typical Google experience. I’m learning to dislike Google search. If you don’t want the most popular result returned in 10,000 different variations, good luck.

        • 0 avatar
          Superdessucke

          If this is a rehash of the general media’s reporting, you will not hear what Turkey’s tariff on U.S. autos was before, nor will you hear about how few cars we sell in Turkey. So don’t ask please.

          The point is there are tariffs and it’s because of Trump. And, they hope, you will vote in a President next time who will issue an apology and let them keep tariffing U.S. goods like before.

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    Sooo much Winning is turning into everyone gets a trophy. Basically no real “Winners” at least for the next couple of years.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Ahh Turkey. The largest NATO military on the European continent spending 2.29% of GDP on NATO defense. On the front lines, literally, in the fight against Daesh. Strategically located to bottle up the Black Sea in the event of conflict with Russia. Strategically located to observe Russian naval operations and listening post. A nuclear armed power by proxy, with access to 40 United States built nuclear bombs, that they could use on NATO authorization. One of the biggest spenders on US military hardware, providing billions in revenue and thousands of high paying US jobs. One of the only Muslim countries (admitted secular) that the United States could 100% count on in regional conflicts.

    Ya, let’s just keep pushing them towards Russia and China because – winning.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Your description of Turkey is primarily pre-Erdogan. The guy now has virtual dictatorial power primarily by jailing his critics after show trials, including foreign nationals. The failed “coup” resulted in Erdogan rounding up over 60% of Turkey’s experienced military pilots, and the top leadership of Turkey’s special forces.

      To top it off, he hasn’t got a clue how economics works, and is preventing his central bank from raising interest rates to choke off rampant inflation. He thinks high interest rates CAUSE inflation. Not only that, his law ministry is accusing American officers at Incirlik air base of being in on the coup, and want the base shut down so they can’t escape arrest.

      Turkey is no longer a reliable ally. It’s just a matter of time before there’s economic collapse, or hyper-inflation, or both.

      • 0 avatar
        TwoBelugas

        Lorenzo is absolutely right, APaGttH is speaking in 1990s and Cold War terms, that all changed when AKP came to power. Abdullah Gul was the president during the first AKP phase but he was out-manuvered by Effendi Recep.

        When the Generals in Turkey were able to take out governments who showed Islamist tendencies Turkey was a reliable-ish NATO ally, but AKP’s rise showed the country’s overall sentiment as becoming much more sympathetic to the Sunni fundamentalist bloc in the middle east and beyond. The military there was the safe guard of their secular “principals” but today they are largely de-clawed following the decade of kangaroo court trials and purges.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Turkey wasn’t a reliable ally in 2004, when my Marine officer friend who was on Shrub’s advance team was narrowly missed by two very well placed bombs there. Turkey having ever been a good ally to the west amounted to a bunch of wishful thinking wed to duplicity.

      • 0 avatar
        Superdessucke

        Don’t waste your breath. People like this think almost all foreign countries are our betters.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      This turkey clash is not Trump’s idea. Its the likes of McCain, Graham and Rubio who drive the screws. Turkey reasonably wants to be free in its decisions what equipment to buy etc. The are pi$$ed because they want into EU and EU is asking them comply with things that would change their national identity.

      But US is also so double-standardized. For example, when Putin signed into law gay propaganda bill, oh how our CNN personalities were screaming. This bill wasn’t about prosecution of gays but rather merely banning gay parades. In Turkey and Saudi Arabia gays literally prosecuted. But we keep quiet about it – our allies, you know.

      But I am actually happy if Turkey bans iPhones. In fact, iProducts are already banned in my home.

    • 0 avatar
      Guitar man

      Yeah, reliable old Turkey that invaded Cyprus, imprisons hundreds of thousands of people without charge, has billboards of Santa Claus dressed as the devil at Christmas time declaring Christianity to be evil, refused to allow the US airbase to be used for the war against ISIS in Syria and Iraq (they had to use bases in Qatar and KSA), attacked Kurds fighting ISIS, funded ISIS through the purchase of oil and ran a hospital specifically for wounded ISIS fighters.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    >>While it’s currently the 5th largest automotive manufacturer in Europe, it’s swiftly climbing the ladder. <<

    maybe because Turkey has the cheapest labor in Europe?

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    The USA places sanctions on Turkey for human rights abuses and gets a meaningless tariff placed on cars. Canada fires off a tweet about human rights and Saudia Arabia’s leader has a sh!t fit…………….

    “The horror! The horror!”

  • avatar
    WalterRohrl

    I wonder what the White House would do if there was a “failed Coup D’Etat” initiated by the Michigan Militia or similar organization upon the US Government. Whip out the Patriot Act and imprison Militia members? Separate their children from them, we already have the infrastructure apparently?

    The US doesn’t have that big of a moral leg to stand on anymore re Human Rights, and the rest of the world is waking up to that. If you want “America First As The One And Only Winner” instead of “America/Whoever Win/Win” then we will end up with “America Alone” which probably resonates well with those that have no passport and have never traveled beyond our own borders but is a sad state of affairs for more enlightened folks.

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      Your argument doesn’t really hold a lot of water: what would ANY country do if there was an attempted Coup D’Etat? What do you think happens to children when their parents go to prison? If Union Polulaire Republicaine attacked Hotel Matignon, would they not be put in prison for attacking the seat of government? When the attackers got put in prison, would they take their spouses and children there with them?

      Most large sovereign nations have gone through periods of where they have been more protectionist or more free trade. None of that is the same as having a poor record of human rights. Sovereign nations with free electionss elect a government to promote their constituent’s perceived interests first above the interests of those in other countries.

      • 0 avatar
        TwoBelugas

        Fun fact, we have a massive apparatus in place that takes kids away from parents who don’t need to be legally convicted of crimes. It’s called the CPS and it’s very popular with most segments of the country.

        • 0 avatar
          WalterRohrl

          Got it. Does CPS run the dog kennels in the WalMart and is that where all the kids end up?

          Here’s the relevant analogy. You take your kids to Mexico or wherever and somehow drink too much, drive back to the hotel and cause a wreck in the process (i.e. driving drunk, an illegal act). You get arrested pending a court case. Would you find it acceptable that your kids get housed in a cage in a WalMart and then you get deported instead of tried and convicted but nobody knows where your kids ended up?

          That’s the look that the world is seeing when they look over here and where they see the hypocrisy in the US criticizing others. You gotta keep your own house clean before you lecture others on theirs.

          • 0 avatar
            TwoBelugas

            “Here’s the relevant analogy. You take your kids to Mexico or wherever and somehow drink too much, drive back to the hotel and cause a wreck in the process (i.e. driving drunk, an illegal act). You get arrested pending a court case. Would you find it acceptable that your kids get housed in a cage in a WalMart and then you get deported instead of tried and convicted but nobody knows where your kids ended up?”

            You clearly have never been to Mexico. With the right payoff you can get your wife and kids to come and live with you in the jail while the jail guards bleeds your bank account dry. Or they may disappear if you run into the wrong crowd. Lots of American “citizens” don’t make it back to the States and it rarely makes news since it’s so common down there.

          • 0 avatar
            WalterRohrl

            Funny guy, typical. Ok, not Mexico then, substitute Canada. Do your kids get taken away and put in dog kennels while you get sent back to wherever you came from after you commit a supposed crime? I notice you don’t take issue with it when it’s not YOUR family. Crossing a border illegally is no greater crime than driving drunk. Wrong, sure. Perhaps even very wrong. But not wrong enough to do that.

            Actually what WOULD you consider the cutoff point for seriousness of a crime that YOU committed to your KIDS being physically and mentally punished for it?

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            “Crossing a border illegally is no greater crime than driving drunk.”

            Says you. What is the most harm a drunk driver has accomplished? How about a border crosser? Or are they the same person? Why do people with your views let border crossers off for drunk driving even when there are victims? If I were you, and I found myself forced to take such intellectually inconsistent and ridiculous positions to push my agenda; I’d reassess my agenda.

      • 0 avatar
        WalterRohrl

        You kind of made my point for me in regard to the article which stated that the sanctions are being put in place due to people being put in prison due to being involved with a Coup. The fact that 20 Americans were put in prison is unfortunate in this case but it’s not 100% clear that they had nothing to do with the Coup, right?

        Normally when kids get taken away from people who commit a crime in this country they don’t get put in kennels in a Walmart and there is a mechanism (a database such as a very simple Excel one, it’s not rocket science) that could be used to keep track of Perpetrator location vs Child location.) Those are the human rights violations of which I speak. I don’t really care WHAT the parent did, but punishing the child/toddler/infant for it? Yeah, not a good look for this country.

        • 0 avatar
          TwoBelugas

          “Normally when kids get taken away from people who commit a crime in this country they don’t get put in kennels in a Walmart ”

          If you think the foster care or group care system in this country, or any country for that matter, is better than a converted Walmart that is cleaned, supplied and constantly supervised, lots of ex-fosterees would like a word with you.

          • 0 avatar
            WalterRohrl

            While foster care is likely not universally a wonderful experience, let’s ask those same fosterees if their preference would have been to be kept indefinitely in a dog kennel in a WalMart with “minders” that are already starting to be found to physically, mentally, as well as sexually abuse them.

            Then let’s ask their parents (or maybe just the ones that were actually caring enough to try to find a way to provide a better life for them if it’s best that both parties never for the rest of their lives know where the other ended up?

            Now assume you did something (or better yet were merely accused of doing something) that caused your kids to be taken away form you at least temporarily. Would you prefer they be placed in foster care with a record system where you could, once you exonerated yourself, locate them or would you prefer that they be put in a kennel and nobody can tell you where they ended up and then suggests that you should call the ACLU and that organization should find them?

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “lots of ex-fosterees would like a word with you.”

            and you take it upon yourself to speak on their behalf.

            nice.

        • 0 avatar
          MrIcky

          I’m not sure of what point anyone made for you.

          I disagree with the practice of separating families who are caught attempting to illegally immigrate to the US.

          However your analogies are crap. If you are in Mexico and you commit a crime, you will be put in jail. Your kids won’t really have anywhere to go – they’ll most likely be directed to the embassy and we’ll see what happens. The police may or may not help them get there.

          Now if you want to use that analogy, lets make it more applicable. What if you and 500 other American’s in Mexico all cause an accident tonight while dui and 1/2 of you have kids in the back seat. And another 500 cause an accident tomorrow and 1/2 of those have kids in the back seat, etc. etc. What do you do with all those kids that aren’t citizens of your country every single night while the gringos keep getting put in jail?

          I’m sure they could handle the kids of a few rowdy Americans, but it would stretch pretty thin if it were tens of thousands a month.

          • 0 avatar
            WalterRohrl

            According to TwoBelugas all the DUI’ers would just have to spot the jailer a $20 and the problems are solved…

            But as for your extrapolation of the American in Mexico analogy, if it were at least 500 every day then that would make it acceptable? And you’re saying that makes it acceptable that the kids would STAY there indefinitely while the 500 DUIers every day themselves got deported back to the States? Without any idea of where exactly the kids were? See, that’s the real problem here and what has been happening here in the US as I’m pretty sure you are aware. That’s the human rights issue that’s being referenced, that the country that’s likely MOST qualified on the face of the earth to actually have the technology to keep track of which kid goes with which adult and where each one is not do so and that some people think that’s just peachy.

            The rest of the civilized world doesn’t think so and while the US may want to isolate itself away from everyone else it still wants to be thought of as part of if not the leader of that civilized world.

            Icky, my beef isn’t with YOU at all, my issue is and has been with the fact that this government has the stones to think it’s acceptable or proper to lecture and penalize others on human rights when they themselves have a mess they created in their own front yard. In fact I’m fairly certain you and I agree with that part of it.

    • 0 avatar
      dont.fit.in.cars

      Two laps around big blue and a skirmish under my belt, America’s dirt smells better than anything the world offers.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    I love the new rules that we’re not even allowed to have some mild trade tariffs on a country that clearly is going off the deep end with human rights and Islamic extremism.

    Apparently 100% free trade, no strings attached is what the USA was founded on.

    But if someone lowers taxes for actual Americans and not foreign countries, it’s economically reckless.

    Turkey is not even a rounding error to our markets.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Turkey is one of the most important NATO allies is a nuclear armed nation by proxy. Sometimes the picture isn’t just economic. But hey, I hear Putin is looking for new friends and I’m sure he’d love Turkey to cozy up. The whole access to the Mediterranean from the Black Sea issue and all.

      • 0 avatar
        jacob_coulter

        How about then we skip the middle man and just cozy up to Russia?
        As long as we’re going to ignore human rights and authoritarian government because we’re “scared” of what our supposed strong ally might do if we raise tariffs.

        At least Russia gives money to both sides of the aisle including Black Lives Matter and Bernie Sanders.

        https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-16/u-s-charges-13-russians-3-companies-for-hacking-election

        NATO is worthless and has always been a complete joke. The idea one American soldier would die defending Turkey or Montenegro is absurd.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          @Jacob. NATO was originally founded to prevent further Soviet advances in Europe. Other alliances were formed in other areas of the globe, such as CENTO and SEATO and Norad.

          Turkey was admitted as it has historically been at odds with Russia, and controls access and entry into the Black Sea.

          Later NATO advances after the fall of the Iron Curtain were made in order to take advantage of Russian weakness,in an attempt to prevent the Russians from regaining their influence in those, and to insert American power into those areas.

          Regardless of politics, geography remains unchanged. Russia and Turkey share a long border. There are ‘tribes’/communities/ethnic/religious groups that historically have migrated and/or lived on both sides of that border. And the Bosphorus will remain strategically important as long as naval ships exist.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Precisely why an Islamist was backed in the first place in historically secular Turkey (read up on Atatürk). Soviet influence in Turkey counters Israeli/Western influence in Ukraine with regard to control of the Black Sea. Influence over Turkey also interferes with Qatari/Saudi designs for a pipeline through Syria and ultimately Turkey for nat gas. If Moscow could by proxy truly control the nation, the Western conflict in Syria is for naught.

      • 0 avatar
        dont.fit.in.cars

        Didn’t Turkey shoot down a Russian warbird?

  • avatar
    TMA1

    Name three things that were absent from Turkey in the three weeks you spent there this year.

    What are “American alcohol, tobacco, and cars,” Alex?

  • avatar
    Peter Gazis

    (see Toyota CH-R)

    • 0 avatar
      TwoBelugas

      A Toyota can be made in North Korea or the rebel controlled Congo and the typical Toyota buyer in the US will still buy it if they can get their hands on it, citing resale values.

      • 0 avatar
        WalterRohrl

        Same as Buick with the Envision from China and Norm explaining how it’s a better buy than an Acura or whatever.

        Except my example is an actual fact and yours is hyperbole.

  • avatar
    Zipster

    Your are all wrong. In a news conference, Huckabee Sanders connected the tariffs to the Turkish government’s holding of the evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson and 16 other Americans. You can ignore the 16 others because the real reason is once again, Trump is throwing red meat to his base, in this case the gels who are a major component of it.
    Why don’t you gels admit that you are thrilled by his actions?

  • avatar
    slavuta

    I am sure that all Turkey wants is to exchange that American priest for Turkish dude in Philadelphia. But we don’t want to give this guy away, so we made this drama. Just send this dude to Turkey and get your propaganda spy back. Like we are naive, and we don’t know these Jehovah Witness operations in other countries and how they undermine local religious and secular order.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      Any religious proselytizer who gets imprisoned in some god-awful 3rd world dictatorship should be on his own. They knew the risks of attempting to spread their asinine religion where it was not wanted. That is not our government’s problem.
      They can ask their 2,000 year old soul-saver to come to the rescue. He ain’t coming.

  • avatar
    deanst

    I’m confused. Is the photo supposed to represent an American made car currently exported to turkey, or is it the new default photo when salmon panted boy is not appropriate?

  • avatar
    Erikstrawn

    Meh. I have a one-million lira coin from the last time Turkey suffered super-inflation. It didn’t affect our economy in any noticeable way.

  • avatar
    pdl2dmtl

    Uh, correction.

    Turkey is not truly an European nation. The EU is still debating if they will ever admit Turkey in the EU.
    Yes, yes, they own that piece of land that is the Bosphorus strait. And they wouldn’t own it if England would not have stopped the Russian Czar to overthrow them back in the 1800’s. Tiny lesson of history.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      England stopped Czarist Russia from destabilizing the Ottomans, who were already well in decline, because a good sized chunk of the Middle East was under Ottoman control and England’s interests would have been threatened by a collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

      England saw Russia as the greater threat, especially with a growing Russian black sea fleet in the Crimea, which Russia took from the Ottomans in the late 1700s. Keeping the Russians bottled up was a major consideration.

      Russia had already swallowed eastern Ukraine, and took the lion’s share of Poland when it was partitioned in 1795, and after a war with Sweden in the early 1800s took one-third of Sweden’s territory, an area now called Finland.

  • avatar

    Can somebody please send Erdogan a highschool book on economics? The Turkish Lira plummeting 40% to the dollar is prohibitive enough not to buy American goods period.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • jmo: Since the CRV has an interior noise level of 72db at 70 and the GLC is 68 at 70 and 3 decibels represents a...
  • kavatski: We’ve had a 2019 X1 for just over a year and still really like it. After trying out a number of its...
  • jmo: “No, the average new VEHICLE is $37k.” Yes, what people actually choose to buy to get around in....
  • FreedMike: Not uncommon at all with used luxury-brand cars – if you read the fine print on those super-low...
  • gasser: I, too, am leasing a GLC300. When I got mine a year ago, I cross shopped the CR-V and the SantaFe. The issue...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber