trump, trump tariffs

Trump administration threatens allies with auto tariffs over Iran

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has threatened to impose a 25% tariff on European automobile imports if Britain, France and Germany do not formally accuse Iran of breaking the 2015 nuclear deal, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed European officials.

The three European countries triggered a dispute mechanism under the agreement on Tuesday, amounting to a formal accusation against Tehran of violating its terms and could lead to the reinstatement of United Nations sanctions lifted under the accord.

Iran has criticized that move, calling it a “strategic mistake.”

Though Trump has previously made threats to place such a duty on European automobile imports, the intent behind them was to receive better terms for Washington within the U.S.-European trade relationship, not to shift European foreign policy, according to the Post.

It was not clear if the threat was necessary since the Europeans had signaled an intention to trigger the dispute mechanism for weeks, the newspaper reported.

The White House and State Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 nuclear deal, or JCPOA, in 2018. Washington has said its abandonment of the pact was part of a strategy intended to force Tehran to agree to a larger deal.

Iran, which denies its nuclear program is aimed at building a bomb, has gradually rolled back its commitments under the agreement since the U.S. withdrawal.

Russia, another signatory to the pact, has said it saw no grounds to trigger the dispute mechanism.

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Climate change, greta thunberg, James May, Jeremy Clarkson, the grand tour, Top Gear, trump

Jeremy Clarkson feels ‘threated’ by Greta Thunberg, his co-host says


The Grand Tour” host Jeremy Clarkson has made no secret of his dislike for Greta Thunberg, the outspoken climate change activist from Sweden who was just named Time magazine’s Person of the Year. Clarkson has labeled the 16-year-old an “idiot” and blamed her for “killing” interest in car shows. One of his co-hosts, Richard Hammond, agrees with him, saying young people aren’t interested in cars.

But the show’s other co-host, James May, does not. Asked about his cohort’s comments, May told an entertainment news site, “He’s feeling threatened or something,” going on to point to shows like “The Grand Tour,” their former gig “Top Gear,” now starring a different cast, and “quite a few on the Internet” as proof that interest in car shows hasn’t waned.

May later went on to say that cars in European cities are expensive, adding, “They’re difficult to manage, it’s difficult to find somewhere to put them, and the insurance is horrifying. At the moment we have Uber, and public transport is actually pretty good in places like London. It’s not that young people aren’t interested in cars, it’s just that they don’t need to be interested.”

It’s a new twist for the television trio, who are gearing up for a fourth season of the Amazon Prime series. Clarkson lost his job hosting “Top Gear” after he punched one of the show’s producers because there was no hot food after a long day of filming.

Clarkson once wrote of Thunberg in a Sun column, “We gave you mobile phones and laptops and the internet. We created the social media you use every day and we run the banks that pay for it all. So how dare you stand there and lecture us, you spoilt brat.”

He’s not the only public figure of his age group to lash out at the 16-year-old activist famous for leading a youth movement urging action to prevent a climate catastrophe. President Trump on Thursday reacted to Thunberg’s Time magazine honor by tweeting that “Greta must work on her Anger Management problem” and urging her to “Chill.”

NPR reports that Thunberg has since changed her Twitter bio to read, “A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend.”

We’ll see if Clarkson can match her poised response when he responds to his co-host’s jibe.

Speaking of “The Grand Tour,” here’s the trailer for its upcoming Season Four, “Seamen,” which is set on boats in Southeast Asia.

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