EU unites on trade, Iran, in opposition to Trump


By Ian Wishart and Gregory Viscusi | Bloomberg News

European Union leaders presented a determined front to stand up to President Donald Trump’s threats to penalize EU businesses and scupper the Iran nuclear deal.

As the bloc paved the way for retaliation, its 28 leaders meeting in the Bulgarian capital Sofia made a rare demonstration of unity in the face of what EU President Donald Tusk called the “capricious assertiveness” of the Trump administration.

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Tusk told leaders over a late dinner on Wednesday that the EU will continue fighting for the rules-based international system, despite recent U.S. decisions on climate change, tariffs and on Iran, according to an EU official present. On trade, all agreed to back the European Commission’s insistence that it won’t negotiate unless the U.S. grants a permanent exemption from tariffs on steel and aluminum, the official said.

“What we demand is no conditions and no limits and to go back to the situation before,” French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters on his way into the summit Thursday. “The condition for all talks is to lift all threats and tariffs, without mention of a time limit.”

Macron spoke as the Commission, which negotiates trade matters on behalf of the bloc, published a law preparing retaliation. It foresees the possibility of hitting 2.8 billion euros ($3.3 billion) of U.S. goods imported into the EU with a reciprocal 25 percent levy as of June 20.

Europe’s mood is shifting from shock at Trump’s “America First” agenda to a resolve to close ranks and assert its own position. Trans-Atlantic tensions came to a head with the U.S. president’s decision announced last week to pull out of the landmark Iran nuclear …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics

      

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