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Congress dangles Turkey trade deal as carrot to Trump’s stick

Lawmakers are floating a free trade agreement with Turkey as the president doubles steel and aluminum tariffs on Ankara for its ongoing detention of a US pastor.
Workers handle steel cables at Turkish steel manufacturer ISDEMIR in Iskenderun in Hatay province May 6, 2010. REUTERS/Umit Bektas (TURKEY - Tags: EMPLOYMENT BUSINESS) - GM1E6561J5Y01
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The Donald Trump administration’s heavy-handed approach with Turkey in its bid to secure the release of a detained US pastor has prompted Congress to recalibrate its approach to the wayward NATO ally.

While lawmakers in both parties have steadily ratcheted up the pressure on Ankara in recent months, the president’s brash decision to target Turkey’s economy for its detention of Andrew Brunson appears to have rattled some of them. Even Republicans who favor the president’s retaliatory tariffs are now floating the possibility of a free trade agreement with Ankara as a carrot to offset Trump’s big stick.

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