U.S. goes all-in on sanctions
Any indications that Washington would be moderate with their use of economic sanctions is quickly vanishing, and in return much of the globe is rebelling against U.S. hegemony.
Let's start with Europe.
Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak and his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire on Friday discussed U.S. sanctions against Turkey and agreed to act together, the Turkish ministry said in a written statement.
Mostly this is symbolic, but its certainly unexpected.
If France is defying America, what might Germany do?
The US leadership has prepared a draft law on sanctions, which could prevent the completion of the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany. New sanctions can be introduced within a few weeks, The Wall Street Journal reports referring to current and former US officials.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed at the meeting held on August 18 that the Nord Stream 2 project should be protected from attacks by third countries, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said.
Third countries = America.
Nord Stream 2 is already under construction. These sanctions won't stop it.
The most controversial of our sanctions involves Iran, and our allies in Asia are preparing to defy us, starting with India.
The US representatives stated on Thursday that Washington is ready to impose sanctions on all nations which continue to import oil from Iran. The list of penalized countries could also include China and India.
China is actually increasing it's oil imports from Iran, so that's a done deal.
China, India, Japan and South Korea together account for almost 65 percent of the oil that Iran exported in May. Japan will probably defer to the U.S., but South Korea may surprise everyone.
However, this past weekend, South Korea's embassy in Iran rejected media reports that the country had suspended oil purchases from Iran under pressure from the U.S.
Largely ignored is Pakistan's pivot toward Russia.
Alam added that Pakistan's powerful military appeared to have "had enough of America’s blackmailing, threats and blockage of sales."
Of course the big news all week is Trump's spat with our NATO ally, Turkey.
— Carl R. Tannenbaum (@NT_CTannenbaum) 16 August 2018
The Turkish economy will continue to need all the trade it can get and right now Qatar and Iran look like less burdensome partners. Russia and China are waiting in the wings too, according to Reva Goujon, the VP of Global Analysis at Stratfor. Turkey already has a defence cooperation agreement with Russia and China has Erdogan on board for its massive Belt and Road infrastructure initiative.
This economic sanctions war appears to be headed toward a climax.
If Washington loses, then expect to see the rise of the Russia-China-Iran axis.
The U.S. maintains a current sanctions regimen against Russia, Iran, Turkey, North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba. None of these sanctions have changed anyone's behavior.