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Parliamentary questions
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24 January 2019
Question for written answer P-000349-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Christelle Lechevalier (ENF)

 Subject:  Protection against the misuse by the USA of extraterritorial law
 Answer in writing 

According to a French report drafted in 2016, European companies have paid USD 40 billion to the US Treasury, some 17 billion of which was forked out by banks. BNP Paribas alone paid a fine of USD 8.9 billion for breaching the unilateral US embargo against Cuba, Sudan and Iran. Alstom was snapped up by General Electric after being forced by the US justice authorities to pay a fine of EUR 772 million. Since 2017, Airbus has been the subject of a US investigation into corruption in Asia.

Washington threatens any company that is considering trading with Iran: Total, Thalès, PSA and Renault have all abandoned their plans as a result. The Americans also have Berlin in their sights, having warned two German energy companies involved in partnerships with Gazprom as part of the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline project that they may face sanctions.

The USA has been using and abusing its extraterritorial legal powers for far too long. Under the pretext of fighting corruption, the US authorities are imposing their law on others, based on the overwhelming dominance of the dollar, the size of the US market, and the judicial arsenal they have at their disposal. The most tenuous of links with the USA is enough for the machine to swing into action.

What steps is the Commission intending to take to finally provide some protection for our European businesses against this blatant misuse by the USA of its extraterritorial laws — bearing in mind in particular that there is already an EU regulation on this matter that is obviously not being enforced?

Original language of question: FR 
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