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Trump's Trade Step Shows U.S. Can Hit Turkey Where It Hurts

President Donald Trump’s decision to strip some Turkish exporters of their preferential trade status is taken from a playbook that’s been effective in the past. American officials are pressing Ankara to abandon its longstanding agreement to buy a Russian air defense system. The last time Washington ratcheted up pressure on its NATO ally to force it to yield on a key issue -- and release a long-held American pastor -- it drove the Turkish economy to the brink of collapse, and it’s not fully recovered. Monday’s trade move “is a political step aimed at preventing Turkey from purchasing S-400 missiles from Russia,” Ilter Turan, a professor of international relations at Istanbul’s Bilgi University, said by phone on Tuesday. “The U.S. is clamping down on Turkey’s potential to increase its exports to the U.S. market, knowing that it will hurt the country’s economy.”

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