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Doubts have been raised as to whether the EU-U.S trade agreement will ever go ahead as France steps down its support and joins Germany’s opposition to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
France’s President, Francois Hollande, has announced he will no longer support a TTIP deal this year, meaning the chances of reaching an agreement before the U.S President, Barak Obama, leaves office in January 2017 are very dim.
“The negotiations are bogged down, positions have not been respected, it’s clearly unbalanced”, said Hollande during a recent speech to French Ambassadors.
Following Sigmar Gabriel’s, the German Economy Minister, announcement that the trade deal talks were "de facto dead", Matthias Fekl, French Trade Minister, said he will request a halt to TTIP talks at the EU trade ministers' meeting in Bratislava to be held on September 2-3, 2016.
“The negotiations with the United States have de facto failed, even though nobody is really admitting it”, said Gabriel adding that “we mustn’t submit to the American proposals.” Allegedly, in 14 rounds of talks on the TTIP, the two sides have not agreed on a single common item out of the 27 chapters being discussed.
According to supporters of the TTIP, the deal represents over US$100 billion worth of economic gains for both sides of the Atlantic. The opponents, however, claim the big multinationals would be over-empowered at the expense of consumers and workers.
On the U.S side, further difficulties arise on horizon as Donald Trump seems firmly opposed to international trade deals and Hillary Clinton has not shown much enthusiasm on the TTIP either.
Sources: Reuters/The Guardian