By signing the bill into law, Trump cannot ease the sanctions against Russia unless he seeks congressional approval.
The move has rattled German business leaders and politicians. The German economy minister told local newspapers that new sanctions could hurt German companies and add another layer of difficulty to Berlin’s relationship with Washington.
“The U.S. has left the common line it had with Europe for sanctions against Russia,” Zypries told ARD television last week, adding that by not coordinating with Europe on the matter, there was a risk that German companies would be harmed.
German business leaders also warned these sanctions could prevent German companies from working on energy pipeline projects that are important to the country’s energy sector.