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

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

The "blocking statute" is a 1996 regulation that prohibits European Union companies and courts from complying with foreign sanctions laws.

Macron said Thursday in a news conference in Sofia, Bulgaria: "We're not going to choose one camp over another". The Europeans, majority US allies in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, say they pose no security threat and that it is simply an excuse to break with the rules-based order of the World Trade Organization.

But the row with the United States over the Cuba embargo was settled politically, so the effectiveness of the blocking regulation has never been put to the test.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday that one reason for the efforts to prop up the Iran deal is "so that our businesses can remain" in Iran.

At the outset of a summit of European leaders whose agenda items, point by point, have to do with the flames of crises that many Europeans see as ignited by President Trump, Tusk ripped into what he called "the capricious assertiveness of the American administration" over issues including Iran, Gaza, trade tariffs, and North Korea.

"With friends like that, who needs enemies?".

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

EU's Donald Tusk about Donald Trump: “With friends like these, who needs enemies?”
Top EU officials agree joint stance on Iran deal, US trade

Following are the incentives offered by the Europeans: - Trade deal - The leaders said they could be open to trade talks with the USA to lower tariffs on certain industrial - but not agricultural - products as well as to open public procurement markets. Beijing also signalled that it intends to continue trading with Iran.

Russian firms have less to lose from bucking USA sanctions. Germany is Europe's biggest exporter to the United States with more than 1 million jobs at stake.

The news came as French oil giant Total threw in the towel in relation to a multi-billion-dollar project in Iran unless it is granted a waiver by USA authorities.

To this effect, China's launch of new freight train service connecting Bayannur in China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region with Iran has served as a message to the United States that Beijing will continue its trade relations with Tehran. "But at the same time we must be prepared for those scenarios, where we will have to act on our own", said Tusk, a former Polish prime minister.

But China has for years been working to increase trade using its currency and in March a yuan-denominated oil contract was launched in Shanghai.

President Donald Trump holds up a proclamation declaring his intention to withdraw from the JCPOA Iran nuclear agreement after signing it in the Diplomatic Room at the White House in Washington.

EU discussions on how to keep the deal - and economic relations with Iran - alive, have focused on: keeping Iran's oil and gas industry viable; the creation of special objective vehicles to allow for transactions between the regions; developing more contracts between European companies and their Iranian counterparts; and how to protect European firms that continue to work with Iran.