Merkel Stresses Support for EU-US Trade Deal
- Jill Young
Mr Fekl's comments come after Sigmar Gabriel, Germany's Vice-Chancellor, said over the weekend that TTIP has failed, but "nobody is really admitting it".
"At the end of September, at the meeting of foreign trade ministers in Bratislava, I will ask, in the name of France, for the TTIP negotiations to be stopped", Fekl said.
Germany's economy minister said Sunday that negotiations have effectively collapsed, but a usa trade official said they're making steady progress.
"That means the end" of the talks, not a suspension, he said, adding he would officially make the demand at an European Union trade minister meeting at the end of September. He said Europeans don't want to "subject ourselves to American demands" and highlighted that out of the 27 chapters of the deal that have been discussed, global negotiators have yet to fully agree on any of them.
The objective of the talks is to boost the incomes of Europeans and Americans by stimulating more trade and investment.
In the meantime, a spokesman for US Trade Representative Michael Froman told Der Spiegel newspaper that the talks "are in fact making steady progress".
REUTERS Kai Pfaffenbach Failure of TTIP? Europe Stands Against US Plans to Create Common Trade Area
Looming elections in Germany and France next year as well as the United States presidential elections later this year always looked like they could derail this trade deal until a new set of politicians, or the same with new mandates, might be around to give TTIP or a modified form of it a new lease of life. He did not indicate when or under what conditions the the talks could restart. TTIP isn't dead yet, but even firm supporters like Wohlgemuth say it does now appear to be doomed.
However Brussels is more positive and on Monday the European Commission insisted talks were on track.
In 2014, the European Commission said that waivers granted to energy-intensive industry did not constitute unfair competition, but it approved an exception for power generated by industry up to 2017.
Gabriel accused Washington of being "angry" about the deal that the European Union struck with Canada, known as CETA, because it contains elements the US doesn't want to see in the TTIP. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has made clear "the Commission will not sacrifice Europe's social health and its data protection standards, nor its cultural diversity on the altar of free trade", Schinas said.
Her Italian counterpart, Carlo Calendo, agreed, saying the American negotiation position was still "unsatisfactory" and the agreement was unlikely to be concluded before the end of Barack Obama's presidency in January. CETA, the free trade deal between Canada and the EU has already been ratified, and if the European Parliament passes it, it will come into effect before the United Kingdom parliament has had any chance to vote on it.