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European Union head slams Trump over trade policies, Iran deal

17 May, 2018, 00:58 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • EU's Tusk slams 'capricious' Trump

Reiterating the position of France, Germany and the United Kingdom, the three European powers that helped broker the Iran nuclear agreement, Tusk said that the EU would remain committed to the deal as long as Tehran fulfilled its obligations. He has made us realize that if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm.

With Trump's cabinet being increasingly populated by the likes of National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who have long pushed for regime change in Iran, the U.S. position is becoming more at odds with those of Europe, Russia, and China.

The EU's 28 leaders are due to discuss two challenges that Trump has confronted them with: his decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, and the USA threat to impose tariffs on metal imports. Thanks to him we got rid of all illusions. Just as European wages stagnate while prices continue to increase, Chinese goods which are on the whole far more affordable than their EU, Japanese or United States equivalents, would be desirable to European consumers who are looking for better values on necessarily items. Despite the United States hesitation. "The deal is good for European and global security, which is why we must maintain it", he said.

Tusk said that this includes the possibility to respond to the U.S. measures "as appropriate and in a proportionate manner", in compliance with the World Trade Organisation rules.

While today's announcement that the European Union will now purchase Iranian energy in Euros rather than US Dollars is a sign that Brussels, Berlin, Paris and to a lesser extent London may be serious about pursuing a JCPOA -1 format, the fact of the matter is that due to the restrictive trade policies of Brussels, the European Union has little leverage against more powerful US based financial institutions.

Meanwhile the European Union is still trying to win exemptions from tariffs on steel and aluminium exports. And my objective is simple: we stick to our guns, ' stated Tusk.

"The EU and U.S. are friends and partners, therefore USA tariffs can not be justified on the basis of national security", Tusk said.

"We are not in panic here and we are not under extreme time pressure", a senior European Union official said. "We need to bring back reality in this discussion, which is not the case today".

Trump has recently confirmed that the United States would abandon the accord with Iran signed by his predecessor Barack Obama in 2015, and renew the sanctions on Iran which the pact had ended.

During the run-up to Trump's withdrawal from the JCPOA, it is nearly certain that visits from the French President and German Chancellor involved discussions about both the JCPOA and even more importantly from Washington's perspective, about the EU/US trade deficit.

'This agreement is everything other than ideal, but Iran is, according to all the knowledge of the worldwide nuclear authorities, sticking to the commitments of the agreement, ' stated Merkel.



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