European Union Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan Thursday defended the EUs handling of relations with Iran, following a report that the Trump administration threatened to hit EU autos with a 25 percent tariff unless Germany, France and the United Kingdom formally accused Tehran of breaching a 2015 nuclear deal.
“Were not an extension of the United States of America in the European Union,” Hogan said in remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “We actually are the European Union and we will make our own decisions in member states about what our policies are going to be, whether thats in trade or security or what other areas.”
The Washington Post reported Wednesday that U.S. officials made the tariff threat, even though the EU had been signaling their intention to trigger the dispute mechanism of the Iran agreement, which it did this week.
Hogan did not directly comment on the tariff threat. However, in his speech to the think tank, he complained that it was increasingly hard for him to defend the EUs open trade policies when “our European businesses can be hit with unjustified tariffs and restrictions at a moments notice.”
The EU has lived under the threat of U.S. auto tariffs through much of President Donald Trumps administration. However, Trump let a self-imposed deadline in November for making a decision lapse without taking any action. That led some to conclude the threat had finally passed.
Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 and embarked instead on a campaign of new sanctions. In contrast, European countries have tried to preserve the agreement for as long as possible.
“We solemnly believe that the deal we had together was a good deal. It wasnt perfect, but it was a very good deal in order to bring Iran in a Read More – Source