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White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told Reuters late-Tuesday, the US condemns the Turkish actions to double the tariffs on some US imports, calling the action “a step in the wrong direction.”

Turkey raised tariffs on the US cars, alcohol and tobacco imports on Wednesday, in retaliation to the US’s doubling of tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum last week.

Saunders noted: “The tariffs from Turkey are certainly regrettable and a step in the wrong direction. The tariffs that the United States placed on Turkey were out of national security interest. Theirs are out of retaliation.”  

“The tariffs that are in place on steel will not be removed with the release of pastor Brunson. The tariffs are specific to national security. The sanctions, however, that have been placed on Turkey are specific to pastor Brunson and others that we feel are being held unfairly, and we would consider that at that point,”  Saunders added.