Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

The European Union has been bad to the United States on trade

EU's Donald Tusk about Donald Trump: “With friends like these, who needs enemies?” EU united on Iran deal, will talk with US - Merkel
Ellis Copeland | 18 May, 2018, 13:40

The European Commission has said it will slap import taxes on US products, including motorcycles and whisky, if Trump moves forward with tariffs on European aluminum and steel.

Trans-Atlantic tensions came to a head with the United States president's decision announced last week to pull out of the landmark Iran nuclear accord which the remaining signatories - Russia, China, France, Germany and the UK, along with the European Union - all say is working. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that Europe will make reciprocal steps to protect their interests in the trade.

"It's Europe's economic sovereignty, and what we are demanding is that we are exempted without conditions or time limits", French President Emmanuel Macron said in Bulgaria, where European Union leaders have gathered for a summit with Balkans countries.

Macron said he was convinced that the USA decision will benefit Russian and Chinese companies in Iran.

It also does not recognise any court rulings that enforce American penalties.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the EU executive would launch on Friday the process of activating a "blocking statute" - legislation banning EU companies from complying with US sanctions on Iran and which does not recognize any court rulings that enforce American penalties.

The other signatories to the deal - China, Russia, and E3, voiced their continued commitment to the JCPOA in the light of USA withdrawal.

"With the sanctions the Americans are to impose, you can't do business in Iran if you also have business in the USA, and we have that on a large scale", Skou told Reuters.

Macron spoke as the Commission, which negotiates trade matters on behalf of the bloc, published a law preparing retaliation.

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The state-owned investment arm China International Trust Investment Corporation recently established a $10 billion credit line for Iran, while the China Development Bank is considering $15 billion more.

The European Commission will initiate a blocking statute - a regulation which was created in 1996 to get around Washington's trade embargo on Cuba.

"We had a rich discussion on Iran".

Danish shipping giant Maersk Tankers also said Thursday it would cease its activities in Iran, while German insurer Allianz announced plans to wind down its business deals there.

Meanwhile, Russia moved to extend its economic influence in Iran.

"The French president is not the CEO of Total", Macron said.

"We are in a new world". We are determined to do whatever it takes to save this accord.

The nuclear deal removed most global sanctions in 2016 in return for Tehran curbing its nuclear programme.

As concerns mounted over the oil supply as geopolitical tensions in the Middle East continue to rise Brent crude has hit $80 per barrel for the first time since November 2014.

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