Daily Management Review

Brussels Urged by France to Stop TTIP Talks


Brussels Urged by France to Stop TTIP Talks
Amid mounting frustration over Washington’s demands, the EU commission has been urged by France to end transatlantic trade talks.
Next month, when the 27 EU member states meet to discuss their future after the UK’s vote to leave the bloc, in Bratislava, Matthias Fekl, French trade minister, said that he would make the formal request to halt the talks to the rest of eh EU officials, he said Tuesday.
“There is no political support from France for those negotiations. The Americans give nothing, or just crumbs … We need a clear and definitive stop to these negotiations to start again on good bases,” Mr Fekl told RMC radio.
It should be noted that last weekend, the long negotiations over the so-called Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, a landmark trade accord being negotiated between the EU and the US, were criticized by Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s center-left economy minister. The French minister’s threat comes at the heels of that criticism.
“The negotiations with the USA have de facto failed because we Europeans did not want to subject ourselves to American demands,” Mr Gabriel said on Monday during a news conference.
The accord it is faltering under fierce attacks from politicians on both sides of the Atlantic and Washington and Brussels have struggled to rebuild momentum in favor of an agreement for the accord.
The French Mayors were reassured about the benefits of a trade accord by Jean-Claude Juncker, the commission’s president having faced with growing opposition in Paris and Berlin. The accord could “yield a deal that will profit the European economy — our [small and medium enterprises] and our farmers — without harming standards,” Juncker told the mayors in May this year. However Mr Juncker’s position has further weakened after Britain, a strong supporter of the deal, voted to leave the EU in June.
The commission was making steady progress in the ongoing TTIP negotiations and that talks were entering a crucial phase, Margaritis Schinas, the European Commission’s chief spokesperson, said on Monday.
In the eventuality that talks were not concluded this year, there would be no “Plan B”, Washington has warned in the meanwhile. But the prospect of an agreement less likely due to the impending elections in the US and Europe that are rife with anti-free trade rhetoric.
The protectionist onslaught of the far-right party leader, Marine Le Pen, who is predicted to qualify for the second round of the run-off, is being faced by the ruling socialist government of President François Hollande and center-right mainstream presidential hopefuls in France which is gearing up for presidential elections next year.
The present French government is being pressurized about the deal by the French far-left and socialists opposed to Mr Hollande’s pro-business measures. The issues of farming and culture are presently the bones of contention between the two parties.
Meanwhile, an antitrade stance has been the base for his election campaign by Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate in the US which is also to got for a presidential election in November.