EU Insists 'ball Still Rolling' On US Trade Deal

EU insists 'ball still rolling' on US trade deal

BRUSSELS, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News -29th Augst,2016) : The European Commission on Monday insisted talks on a huge US free trade deal were on track, rejecting German claims that irreconcilable differences had left the deal dead in the water. "The ball is rolling right now.

The Commission is making steady progress," Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said when asked about comments by German vice chancellor and economy minister Sigmar Gabriel that the talks had "failed." "Talks are now indeed entering a crucial stage but ...

provided the conditions are right, the Commission stands ready to close this deal by the end of the year," Schinas told a regular press briefing. The EU and US began work on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in 2013, aiming to create the world's largest free trade area by the time President Barack Obama leaves office in January next year. But the talks have got bogged down amid widespread suspicion in the 28-nation EU that a deal would undercut bloc standards in key areas such as health and welfare. Gabriel told German television on Sunday that "the talks with the US have de facto failed because we Europeans of course must not succumb to American demands.


Nothing is moving forward." Schinas insisted that while the Commission, the EU's executive arm which conducts all bloc trade negotiations, wanted a deal, it would not come at any cost. 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. Asked whether TTIP could go through without support from Germany, the EU's paymaster and largest economy, he said Juncker had won fresh backing for the negotiations from all bloc leaders at a summit in July. "At the last (summit) precisely because we were entering this difficult and complex stage, President Juncker addressed his counterparts, checking whether there was political backing to conclude the deal by the end of the year," Schinas said. "We did not feel that there was a lack of support ...

we received the mandate to conclude these negotiations," he said.