President Donald Trump administration announced that it would higher the tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum over the detainment of American evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson, who was arrested in 2016.
However, these new sanctions may have a reverse effect, and could end up being more beneficial to Russia. The sanctions are sending a loud and clear message to the NATO alliance, which President Trump routinely speaks out against.
Timothy Ash, senior emerging markets strategist at Bluebay Asset Management told CNBC that Brunson’s detention proves how valuable the Christian vote is in America.
“It’s pretty remarkable how far the Trump administration is willing to go — putting at jeopardy the relationship with a NATO ally over a preacher. It just shows the importance of the evangelical vote in the U.S. as it heads to midterms.”
Axios reported that the Turkey is trying to lessen their dependence on Russia, and the increased sanctions will make their goal more challenging to reach.
Ash continued: “I don’t think you can understate the geopolitical significance. The U.S. has decided to sanction a NATO ally — absolutely remarkable. It will inevitably push Turkey towards the Russian and Iranian orbit and I think even raises questions over Turkey’s NATO membership.”
Marcus Chenevix, Middle East analyst at TS Lombard said that Turkey’s economy is fragile.
“Normally, Turkey might be able to shrug off this kind of story; however, right now the Turkish economy is already in the terminal stages of a descent into crisis. To say the least, things are fragile right now.”