The White House Assures US-EU Trade Talks Are Alive


Time: 9:10 p.m. CEST

The White House reacted to the statement of the French President Francois Hollande who said, that, “current discussions on the treaty between Europe and the United States will not lead to an agreement by the end of the year.” At the news briefing on August 30 the White House press secretary Josh Earnest responded to the questions of the correspondents related to two news events.

One was the ruling by the European Commission that Ireland must recover up to 13 billion euros ($14.6 billion) in unpaid taxes from Apple and the second is the statement by the leaders of the EU founding states on the impossibility to conclude Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

Earnest said that the U.S. continues toward a goal of completion of this before the end of the year. The White House press secretary said that the U.S. Trade Representative Mike Froman would travel to Europe in mid-September to continue in pursuit to a goal. Earnest described Froman as a tenacious negotiator, who will be engage in subsequent discussions.

Most of the questions devoted to the TTIP agreement provoke various responds of Earnest who said, “I think the next president will need to make the path forward,” to the question what will happen if the TTIP will not be concluded until the end of 2016.

As Turkish Hurryiet Daily News on English language reported on Tuesday, France said it wanted to halt “thorny EU-US trade talks as French President Francois Hollande said there would be no deal at least until after President Barack Obama leaves office in January.” Hollande talked to the diplomats and said it would be an “illusion” to say a deal was close. “The current discussions on the treaty between Europe and the United States will not lead to an agreement by the end of the year,” Hurryiet Daily News quotes Hollande, published by the Agence France-Presse.

The EU Commission and U.S. negotiators began work on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in 2013, aiming to create the world’s largest free-trade area before Obama ends his term.

But the talks have become bogged down amid widespread suspicion in the 28-nation EU that a deal would undercut the bloc’s standards in key areas such as health and welfare.

And Germany’s vice chancellor and economy minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Aug. 28 the negotiations were effectively dead in the water. “The talks with the U.S. have de facto failed because we Europeans of course must not succumb to American demands… nothing is moving forward”, Gabriel said.

But the European Commission on Aug. 29 rejected the German claims and insisted the talks remained on track. “The ball is rolling right now. The Commission is making steady progress,” Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said.

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