BERLIN/WASHINGTON | | usa

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) - In Berlin and other capitals of the EU, political advisors are appealing for a speedy course of action to be taken against US extraterritorial sanctions. The sanctions, unilaterally imposed by Washington, which obligate, in principle, all enterprises doing business in the USA to abide by, are not only causing billions in losses in Europe, but are also thwarting Germany and the EU from pursuing their own global policy, independently from that of the USA. In the meantime, experts at several European think tanks are appealing for direct countermeasures to be initiated against the USA. Some suggest, for example, that extraterritorial sanctions could be imposed also on US companies. As an alternative, "asymmetrical countermeasures" could be considered, such as the freezing of the assets of US enterprises. Time is of the essence. Should Washington, in the future, impose extraterritorial sanctions on China, the damages for the EU economy would hardly be surmountable. The Trump administration is currently expanding its extraterritorial sanctions to Latin American countries. more…

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/MOSCOW | | russische-foederationusa

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/MOSCOW (Own report) - The EU and NATO are using dramatic appeals to try to shift the blame for the abrogation of the INF-Treaty to Russia. In the upcoming days, Moscow must take "substantial actions" to preserve the disarmament treaty" in the last minute, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, Federica Mogherini, proclaimed. Otherwise it would bear "sole responsibility" for new armament measures flanked by growing insecurity, according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. The NATO states' allegation that Russia had violated the treaty has not been proven; on the other hand, the Trump administration has admitted that it had been working on the development of new ground-launched intermediate-range missiles for more than eighteen months. Their deployment is prohibited under the INF-Treaty. EU arms manufacturers are participating in the production of these US-missiles, with contracts worth millions of dollars. The nominee for Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff is in favor of deploying new intermediate-range missiles against China. more…

BERLIN/WASHINGTON | | usa

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) - Berlin and Brussels are weighing countermeasures to the Trump administration's growing number of extraterritorial sanctions. The US government is seeking to globally enforce its unilaterally imposed sanctions to bind other countries, including allies, to its foreign policy course. The sanctions against Iran are the most prominent example. They also made German business with Iran largely impossible. Washington first implemented extraterritorial sanctions in the mid-1990s, but finally reached agreement with the EU not to enforce them against European companies. This was changed during the Obama administration, when it amassed billions in fines from banks in the EU. The Trump administration has expanded the extraterritorial sanctions to include Russia and Cuba. Following the failure of the INSTEX financial vehicle, German government advisors are proposing that legal action be taken in US courts. Now, “asymmetric countermeasures” are also being discussed. more…

BERLIN/BEIJING/WASHINGTON | | chinausa

BERLIN/BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Own report) - A leading German economist is warning there could be a military escalation of the US economic war. "The trade war could lead to an arms race," according to Gabriel Felbermayr, President of the Institute for the World Economy, in Kiel. His assessment is based on the Trump administration's escalating aggression. Last week, the administration expanded its embargo against Huawei to five other high-tech companies from the People's Republic and is now considering whether it should force its EU 5G suppliers to dismantle their Chinese subsidiaries. German companies, such as the Munich based Infineon, which, in the meantime, has partially joined the US boycott, are also being targeted. Therefore, Beijing could add its name to the list of companies causing damage to China for political reasons and thus threaten them with countermeasures. Experts are warning that the USA is merely driving the Chinese high-tech industry into becoming independent which, in the long run, would make it a very powerful competitor. more…

BERLIN/BEIJING/WASHINGTON | | usachina

BERLIN/BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Own report) - Infineon is the first German company to be caught between the firing lines of the US economic war against China. Yesterday, the Trump administration began to enforce the implementation of its boycott against the Chinese Huawei telecommunication group that it had announced just last Wednesday. The US government seeks to ruin one of China's major companies, Huawei, to prevent the continued rise of People's Republic. Infineon is now forced to halt its supplies of USA-produced components to Huawei. A serious conflict with Beijing would be fatal for the company. One-quarter of Infineon's sales are currently generated in China - significantly more than in any other country. It is also engaged in major future-oriented projects in that country. Observers warn that the Trump administration could force the German industry to choose between the USA and China - as in the case with Iran. The DAX companies generate nearly 22 percent of their sales in the USA and 16 percent in the People's Republic. It is, of course, also conceivable that the US economic war will backfire. more…

BERLIN/MOSCOW/WASHINGTON | | russische-foederationusa

BERLIN/MOSCOW/WASHINGTON (Own report) - German business circles are readying themselves for a new round of US sanctions against Russia and are warning against a second "Iran scenario, " because of a comprehensive package of US punitive measures, intended to affect also all Russian energy projects abroad. The new sanctions may not only prevent an LNG terminal Novatek plans to build in Rostock, but also facilitate steps against the three - of the twelve - large German refineries in which Rosneft holds shares. As in the case of Iran, from which German companies have almost completely withdrawn following the imposition of US sanctions, the fear of Washington's punitive measures is now foiling new business deals with Russia on a large scale. In addition to the package of sanctions, the Trump administration is expected to impose a second round of punitive measures for Moscow's alleged responsibility for the Salisbury nerve-agent attack. The US President is also threatening to expand its war of sanctions because of Russian support for Venezuela. more…

BERLIN/WASHINGTON | | usa

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) - The United States is preparing sanctions against European companies participating in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, according to senior US government officials. German government officials, on the other hand, predict that US sanctions will lead to a confrontation with the whole of the EU. "We will do everything necessary to complete the pipeline." At the same time, the power struggle over the participation of the Chinese Huawei Corporation in setting up the 5G grid in Germany and the EU is escalating. After the German government indicated that it would not exclude, a priori, Huawei, the US ambassador in Berlin is threatening to reduce cooperation between the two countries' intelligence services. US President Donald Trump is also considering calling on countries to pay the full cost of stationing US forces on their soil, plus 50 percent more. German government advisors are pleading for a "policy of 'softer' or 'more robust' countervailing power formation." Europe's "strategic autonomy" is at the core of this power struggle. more…

BERLIN/BEIJING/WASHINGTON | | usachina

BERLIN/BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Own report) - An opening is emerging for Berlin to be able to include Huawei in Germany's 5G grid installation - contrary to the massive US campaign. The President of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) Arne Schönbohm declared that "an anti-espionage treaty" between Germany and China could help, open the possibility of Huawei's participation in setting up the grid. Chancellor Angela Merkel is currently seeking to conclude such an agreement. The industry is in favor of using Huawei Technology, because it promises to be the fastest and most cost-effective construction of the strategically important 5G grid. Experts warn that without Huawei, Germany could lag at least two years behind in the development. Meanwhile it has become known that for years, the NSA has been eavesdropping not only on China's president but on Huawei as well. Allegedly, US spies cannot show any evidence of Huawei being involved in espionage operations - even after having read the emails of numerous employees and those of the company's board chair. more…

MUNICH | | usa

MUNICH (Own report) - At the Munich Security Conference last weekend, the power struggle between Berlin and Washington openly escalated to an unprecedented level. US Vice President Mike Pence reiterated his ultimatum that Berlin and the EU immediately renounce their political and economic projects, which are not fully in accord with US policy, pertaining particularly to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and the Iran nuclear deal. German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected the US demands. In view of the dispute with Washington, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas declared at the Security Conference that "Europe" faces the "crucial question" whether it will be "the subject or the object of global policy in the future." It must, therefore, "transform geo-economic capital into geopolitical capital" to become "a cornerstone of the international order" and "develop its own geopolitical identity." Maas is expressing his demands, at a time, when the EU's Iran policy is about to fall apart and the European power base needed for Berlin's ambitions is crumbling. more…

Five Eyes

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/BEIJING | | chinausa

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Own report) - In the dispute over boycotting the Chinese Huawei corporation, the German government is considering joining a campaign of the "Five Eyes" intelligence-sharing network, it was reported in Canada and Australia. According to the media, intelligence chiefs of the five English-speaking "Five Eyes" countries launched a boycott campaign last July under US leadership. The campaign seeks not only to put pressure on the governments of Five Eyes members Great Britain and Canada, which - for economic reasons - have initially been reluctant to boycott Huawei, but also to increase the pressure on the Germany and Japan. Experts in Australia speculate that, in return for its participation in the boycott, Berlin could become an accepted FIVE Eyes member, something Germany's Federal Intelligence Service (BND) has been striving to do for years. To "maintain their own technology competence," EU companies should develop 5G, according to Berlin. German managers, however, are up in arms, fearing falling far behind and never catching up with China. more…