Germany warns USA not to use sanctions for industrial policy

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The bill, if signed into law by the U.S. President, will also give United States lawmakers the power to veto any attempt by the president to lift the sanctions.

The legislation, which passed by 419 to three, was described by House Speaker Paul Ryan as a sanctions package that "tightens the screws on our most risky adversaries in order to keep Americans safe". After US officials imposed an $8.9 billion fine on French bank BNP Paribas over its dealings with Iran in 2014, European Union officials retaliated previous year by cutting off talks on a trans-Atlantic trade deal and imposing a €13 billion fine on Apple.

The EU Commission sounded the alarm after the US House of Representatives voted in favour of the measures, despite opposition from Donald Trump.

The U.S. House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed a legislative draft which would lead to stricter economic sanctions against Russia, Iran and DPRK.

"What is particularly unsafe is that supporters of Russian Federation sanctions in Washington are not only trying to put Putin and Trump in the same bag, but also helping the U.S. economy against foreign competition", wrote the Sueddeutsche Zeitung. "Besides, nobody can expect that President [Donald] Trump will opt for not signing it into law".

EU commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker called for an urgent debate on Brussels's response if European companies are affected by United States anti-Russian sanctions. It now heads to the Senate before President Donald Trump will face the tricky choice of whether to veto the legislation, which has been opposed by the White House and considerably constrains his ability to lift the penalties.

- Reduces from 30 days to 14 days the maximum allowed maturity for new debt and new extensions of credit to the state controlled financial institutions targeted under the sectoral sanctions.

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"We support where the legislation is now and will continue working with the House and Senate to put those tough sanctions in place on Russian Federation until the situation in Ukraine is fully resolved and it certainly isn't right now", White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" program. "Here the interests of the energy sector of several large European countries as well as certainly also large companies has been ever so slightly greater than in holding Russian Federation responsible", Mihkelson said.

The latest transatlantic tensions follow sharp disagreements over the United States president Donald Trump's "America First" agenda, including his anti-trade stance, his withdrawal from an worldwide treaty to fight climate change and his criticism of European nations for failing to spend more on defence.

But Russian politicians argue that President Trump has been blocked in that - by a wave of "Russophobia" sweeping the U.S., our correspondent says.

"Let's see what happens on Wednesday in the college meeting", a diplomat from an Eastern country said. House GOP leaders are urging the Senate to act quickly.

"It goes without saying that we and our European partners attach great importance to finishing these projects and we will work towards this", he said. The bill also slaps Iran and North Korea with sanctions.

The Kremlin continues to insist it did not interfere in the USA elections.

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