The unexpected inclusion of sanctions measures against Euro firms assisting Russian energy exports in a Bill supposed to penalise Iran in the US has caused panic amongst the Euro corporates. The Local reports that Merkel's spokesman said that she
'shared the concerns raised by Germany's Foreign Minister Sigmar
Gabriel and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern who charged in a joint
statement on Thursday that the measure brings a "completely new
and entirely negative quality to European-US relations". In a hard-hitting statement, the German and Austrian said they
"cannot accept the threat of extra-territorial sanctions against
European companies that participate in the expansion of European energy
supplies" adding that this would "violate international law". They accused Washington of using the sanctions to squeeze Russian gas supplies out of Europe in favour of US energy exports. "The aim is to secure jobs in gas and oil industries in the US," said Gabriel and Kern.'
The major panic seems to be with the Nordstream II scheme - owned by Russia's Gazprom but with substantial investments from Uniper, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, BASF's Wintershall and Engie. All now face penalties wherever Trump's administration can reach them.
Nothing to do of course with the EU's signalled intention to fine Google €1bn this year, of course, and if US penalties equal this figure it will be purely coincidental.
Watch out BMW and Audi ...