European Union chief on Trump: "With friends like that, who needs enemies?"

European Union chief on Trump:

European Union chief on Trump: "With friends like that, who needs enemies?"

A top European Union official branded President Donald Trump selfish and capricious Wednesday as EU leaders gathered to count the likely economic damage US policies might inflict on the bloc and to try to rescue the Iran nuclear deal.

On trade, Tusk said the US move to impose trade penalties on national-security grounds was "absurd", since the European Union is a core American ally and does not represent a threat. Had the Europeans been able to work with Trump on allowing more United States goods into the EU or otherwise volentarily cutting back exports into the U.S., there may have been a slim chance that Trump would have shifted his position on the JCPOA.

The 28 anxious EU leaders are gathering in the Bulgarian capital for discussions on how to salvage the nuclear deal and European business dealings with Iran from Trump's sanctions.

"Following last week's announcement of the United States withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran, we need a united European front", said Tusk who arrived in Sofia to participate in the EU-Western Balkans Summit. He has made us realize that if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm.

"But frankly speaking, Europe should be grateful for President Trump because thanks to him we have got rid of all illusions".

It remains true that the European Union still has many more points of agreement with the USA than points of disagreement, but under Trump, these points of disagreement have been profound.

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White House National Security Adviser John Bolton indicated on Sunday that the USA would be willing to impose sanctions on any European companies that continue to work or do business with Iran.

The summit comes after Iran gave the European Union "between 45 and 60 days to give the necessary guarantees to safeguard Iranian interests and compensate the damages caused by the United States pullout". The aim is to counter Trump's reimposition of sanctions on Iran.

'This means a permanent exemption from USA tariffs on aluminium and steel if we are to discuss possible trade liberalisation with the US.

"Here again, unity is our greatest strength and my objective is simple - we stick to our guns". An EU-China economic partnership could give Europe the leverage it needs to then give Iran the necessary guarantees of economic sustenance in a post-US JCPOA. Therefore US tariffs can not be justified on the basis of national security.

"The broader US-EU security relationship is at risk", a former US envoy to the EU, Anthony Gardner, told the European Parliament on Wednesday.

The blocking statute was developed in 1996 to counter U.S. sanctions on Cuba, Iran and Libya, but has not been tested yet. During a speech on Wednesday to the German Parliament, she also said it would be wrong to cancel the nuclear agreement with Iran and called the decision to pull out of the accord "troubling news". "We need to bring reality back into this discussion", he said. "We are ready to do so, if needed".

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