The U.S.-European confrontation will deepen if Washington, as expected, imposes secondary sanctions against European companies that do business with Iran. If so, Europe might retaliate with “blocking regulations” that punish companies that comply with the American measures.
European companies don’t like being squeezed. Total, the giant French oil company that plans a multibillion-dollar natural gas project in Iran, said Wednesday that unless it gets “a specific project waiver” from the Treasury Department, it will have to scuttle its investment plan, which Total says has “huge potential.”
Trump is so unpopular in Europe that defying him carries little political risk. On issues such as trade, climate change, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and global economic policy, the traditional centrist policy consensus has mostly held in Europe.
The transatlantic divide on culture and values, once the bedrock of the alliance, is striking.