Tuesday

21st Feb 2017

EU-US trade deal not quite dead

  • Sigmar Gabriel faced criticism on Monday over his remarks that TTIP negotiations had "failed". (Photo: Reuters)

News of the death of the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, have been largely exaggerated.

At least, that was the substance of EU reactions to the statements made by Germany’s vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel last Sunday (28 August).

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Gabriel, who is also the leader of Germany’s Social Democratic party, said that TTIP talks ”de facto have failed, even though nobody is really admitting it”.

But the EU chief TTIP negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero, on Monday, referred to Mark Twain to assure press that the free-trade talks are still alive.

"Remember what Mark Twain said," he noted, on the American writer's quip that reports of his death were "greatly exaggerated."

Another part of EU Commission also told journalists that Gabriel wasn't in charge of negotiatons.

”We are,” said spokesman Margaritis Schinas. He recalled that EU member states had unanimously renewed the Commission’s mandate to do so at a European Council in late June.

”The ball keeps rolling on TTIP”, Schinas said.

He said that the commission "stands ready to close the deal by the end of the year," adding however that it would not "sacrifice Europe’s safety, health, social and data protection standards or our cultural diversity on the altar of free trade."

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert, meanwhile, said there was “no disagreement” in the German government about the fact that the EU and the US must still bridge “several important questions”.

But it was right to continue talks, as ”quite often the decisive things only happen in the final round”, Seibert said.

A few EU politicians, although not that many, also threw their weight behind TTIP.

Sweden’s EU and trade minister Ann Linde - a fellow Social Democrat - said ”nothing” warranted such a statement such as Gabriel's.

Finland’s foreign trade minister Kai Mykkanen from the centre-right National Coalition Party also took Gabriel’s declaration with a pinch of salt.

”Chancellor Merkel and the rest of the EU leadership support TTIP, and negotiations continue,” he said.

Kerry to promote free-trade deal on EU tour

Secretary of state John Kerry will give speeches in the coming months to "help people to understand exactly the positive side" of the EU-US free trade talks.

France wants EU-US trade talks stopped

French trade minister called for "the pure, simple and definitive halt of these negotiations" because France was not backing them anymore.

MEPs approve Canada trade deal amid protest

Amid protests in front of the European Parliament's Strasbourg building and after heated debate among MEPs, the landmark trade deal with Canada was approved with a comfortable majority.

News in Brief

  1. EU ministers approve anti-tax avoidance directive
  2. Poland rejects EU criticism of court changes
  3. German nationalist leader met with Putin allies in Moscow
  4. German housing market overheated, says Bundesbank
  5. France invites three EU leaders for Versailles summit in March
  6. Greece agrees on new bailout reforms
  7. EU commission denies Juncker resignation rumour
  8. US "strongly committed" to cooperation with EU, says vice-president

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFNearly 1.4 Million Children at Risk of Death as Famine Looms Across Africa and Yemen
  2. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Fees: Council Reaches Agreement on Wholesale Caps
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Innovation House Opens in New York to Help Startups Access US Market
  4. Centre Maurits CoppietersMinorities and Migrations
  5. Salzburg Global SeminarThe Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play
  6. UNICEFNumber of Ukrainian Children Needing Aid Nearly Doubles to 1 Million Over the Past Year
  7. Centre Maurits CoppietersThe Situation of Refugee Women in Europe
  8. Salzburg Global SeminarToward a Shared Culture of Health: Charting the Patient-Clinician Relationship
  9. European Free AllianceAustria Should Preserve & Promote Bilingual and Multinational Carinthia
  10. Martens CentreShow Your Love for Democracy! Take Part in Our Contest: "If It's Broken, Let's Fix It"
  11. CISPECloud Computing Leaders Establish Data Protection Standards to Protect Customer Data
  12. Malta EU 2017Landmark Deal Reached With European Parliament on Portability of Online Content

Latest News

  1. Dieselgate: EU disappointed with VW's treatment of customers
  2. French police raid Le Pen's party office
  3. The Armenia-Azerbaijan war: A refugee's story
  4. Greece and creditors break bailout deadlock
  5. Internal EU report exposes Libya turmoil
  6. EU commissioner condemns 'delay' in post-Dieselgate reform
  7. Sweden fights back as foreign leaders make up bad news
  8. Nordstream 2: Alternative pipeline facts