As if Donald Trump's unprecedented tariff spats against traditional allies - the European Union (EU), Canada and Mexico, along with an ongoing feud with trading behemoth - China, are not enough to cast a shadow over world economic outlook, then the United States (US) president's most recent tariff fight with long standing NATO ally, Turkey, affirms even deeper uncertainty over present and future global economic health and security.
Even though the antics and authoritarian style leadership of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have raised numerous human rights questions in the past two years, Turkey still stands as a strategic member of NATO, having the second largest standing army within the organization, outnumbered only by the US.
Hence, Trump's decision to slap a 50-percent and 25-percent tariff on steel and aluminum from Turkey was shocking. Despite the ongoing diplomatic rift over a jailed American in Turkey, Trump's decision to penalize Turkey was abrupt causing the Turkish Lira to lose 10-percent of its value in one day and declining against the US dollar by more than 30-percent since January, this year.
That Erdogan's fiscal management has been iffy and unconventional since he acted against all economic wisdom and failed to raise interest rates in the face of growing inflation, has clearly exposed Turkey to the worse of economic probabilities from the impact of Trump's tariffs. Will Erdogan's retaliation to ban all American imported electronics help mitigate Turkey's economic impact from Trump's tariffs?
Reports suggest that Turkey might be entering a closer relationship with Iran and Russia in order to hedge US penalties. Whatever the result, the US could lose a NATO ally.
Moreover, Trump's tariff wars against a growing number of allies and non-allies could force all his foes into a new coalition, thus reducing US global influence while quickening US world isolation.