EU-US trade talks ‘failed’, says Ger­man vice chan­cel­lor

The Myanmar Times - - Business -

GER­MANY’S vice chan­cel­lor and econ­omy min­is­ter Sig­mar Gabriel said ne­go­ti­a­tions on a mas­sive trade deal be­tween the Euro­pean Union and the United States were ef­fec­tively dead in the wa­ter. “The talks with the US have failed be­cause we Euro­peans of course must not suc­cumb to Amer­i­can de­mands,” he told pub­lic broad­caster ZDF. “Noth­ing is mov­ing for­ward.”

Ne­go­tia­tors from the US and the EU are in talks to fi­nalise the pro­posed Tran­sat­lantic Trade and In­vest­ment Part­ner­ship (TTIP) which would cre­ate the world’s largest free trade area.

But the ne­go­ti­a­tions have been bogged down over the terms of the agree­ment as well as Bri­tain’s shock vote to leave the EU and ris­ing op­po­si­tion to the deal in France and Ger­many.

The set­backs have raised se­ri­ous doubts that it will be achieved by the end of the year as hoped.

Ac­tivists who have op­posed the TTIP since ne­go­ti­a­tions be­gan in 2013 say the deal would only ben­e­fit multi­na­tion­als and harm con­sumers.

France’s Prime Min­is­ter Manuel Valls has said it would be “im­pos­si­ble” for the two sides to con­clude ne­go­ti­a­tions on a trade deal by the end of 2016.

Be­hind the scenes, top diplo­mats have told AFP that talks may be sus­pended un­til af­ter the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion in Novem­ber as well as elec­tions in France and Ger­many next year.

Mr Gabriel was more up­beat about a Canada-EU free trade agree­ment, which he called “a big step for­ward”, that he would fight for rat­i­fi­ca­tion.

The deal known as CETA was for­mally con­cluded in 2014 and re­quires the ap­proval of 28 EU mem­ber states and Euro­pean Par­lia­ment. –

‘We Euro­peans ... must not suc­cumb to Amer­i­can de­mands.’ Sig­mar Gabriel Ger­man vice chan­cel­lor

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