Europe Draws up Economic Plan to Confront US Sanctions

ImagePresident Trump announced he was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal at the White House

On Tuesday Mr Trump announced he would pull out the Iran deal, despite various attempts by European leaders to convince the US President to rethink his decision.

"Do we want to be vassals who obey decisions taken by the United States while clinging to the hem of their pants?", Mr Le Maire asked.

"We have to work among ourselves in Europe to defend our economic sovereignty", Le Maire told Europe 1 radio ahead of talks with Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra.

European governments tried for months to persuade Trump to stick with the deal but failed, and now fear it will raise the risk of conflict in the region. Iran has become a new voice for moderation in oil markets, with the minister saying Sunday that a "suitable price" is $60 to $65 a barrel - below the reported $80 that the Saudis are seeking.

Dan Eberhart, CEO of oilfield services company Canary LLC, drew a direct connection: "Withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal will support higher oil prices".

Even the USA needs global partners, she cautioned, saying: "No country is big enough to face this world alone". Saudi Arabia signaled it could make up lost supplies, and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said there's a chance prices may exceed its forecast.

While the Iran deal fiasco has created tensions, "the damage may be the greatest" from the looming transatlantic trade war over Trump's decision to impose damaging tariffs on European steel and aluminium, former ambassador Gardner warned. The grouping includes Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.

Germany plans to offer legal advice to help its firms continue to do business in Iran, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier also said on Friday.

"This deal is not a bilateral treaty".

She called for calm on all sides.

Ford F-150 production could resume by next Friday
Ford has sold 287,000 F Series trucks in the United States in the first four months of this year, up 4% compared to a year ago. The fire shut down production at two of Ford's plants, but according to sources, production could resume as early as May 18.

Although Mogherini did not name Trump in her State of the Union address, she certainly appeared to be referencing the president when she said, "It seems that screaming, shouting, insulting and bullying, systematically destroying and dismantling everything that is already in place, is the mood of our times".

Europe's options, however, are limited.

OPEC is in no hurry to decide whether to pump more oil to make up for an expected drop in exports from Iran after the imposition of new USA sanctions, four sources familiar with the issue said, saying any loss in supply would take time. "Europeans should not have to pay for US withdrawal from an agreement".

Planemakers Airbus and Boeing, oil companies and auto manufacturers like France's Renault and Peugeot could be among companies hardest hit.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is to hold consultations with Russian Federation and China, the other signatories, before meeting next Tuesday in Brussels with his French, German and British counterparts.

However, Le Maire acknowledged he has "no illusions" that he'll get what he asked for.

USA light crude CLc1 was down 10 cents at $71.26, having touched a 3-1/2 year high of $71.89 on Thursday.

U.S. bank Goldman Sachs said renewed sanctions and risks to supplies elsewhere, especially in Venezuela, meant there was a high possibility of higher prices than the bank's summer Brent price forecast of $82.50 per barrel.

The European Commission says that U.S.

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