EU Chief Tusk Slams Trump Over Trade, Iran

With friends like Donald Trump, who needs enemies: European Union chief

EU Chief Tusk Slams Trump Over Trade, Iran

He said: "We are witnessing today a new phenomenon: the capricious assertiveness of the American administration".

Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump announced that his country would exit the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and reinstate the previously lifted sanctions on Iran. Thanks to him we got rid of all illusions.

European Council President Donald Tusk slammed U.S. President Donald Trump for pulling out of the Iran nuclear accord and threatening the EU with tariffs on steel and aluminum in by far the harshest rebuke yet by Brussels of the unpredictable America leader.

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.

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Tusk also mentioned looking into ways to protect European companies from "negative consequences of the U.S. decision".

Members of the European Council will discuss ways they might be able to salvage the Iran nuclear deal now that President Trump has opted to back out of the agreement during their summit in Bulgaria this week.

On trade, Tusk said the USA 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. "That means permanent exemptions from US tariffs on aluminium and steel". "He has made us realize if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm".

"Europe must do everything in its power to protect, despite today's mood, the transatlantic bond. But at the same time we must be prepared for scenarios where we'll have to act on our own". But they are expected to continue to adhere to the provisions of the deal and to consider options to shield European investments in Iran, which many EU nations hope to benefit from.

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The break with the USA over the Iran deal is just the latest in a series of major breaches in the transatlantic relationship.

'This means a permanent exemption from USA tariffs on aluminium and steel if we are to discuss possible trade liberalisation with the US. Therefore U.S. tariffs can not be justified on the basis of national security.

This move sparked discontent among the key United States trading partners, especially the EU.

"We notably discussed concrete practical solutions to make sure the European Union can continue to live up to its commitments under the deal and protect our economic operations", said Avramopoulos, the EU's migration commissioner.

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The leaders of the European Union member states are in Sofia to discuss the western Balkans and digital innovation, but the agenda has been hijacked by the need to respond to Mr Trump.

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