Germany’s Vice Chancellor Sigma Gabriel said on Sunday that EU-US trade negotiations have failed.
“In my opinion the negotiations with the United States have de facto failed, even though nobody is really admitting it,” Sigma Gabriel told German ZDF on Sunday.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is considered a legacy issue for the Obama administration, but Gabriel no longer trusts the agreement will be able to materialize the vision of an 800 million people free trade zone.
In contrast to negotiations with Canada (CETA), Washington and Brussels have failed to progress over the last three years and 14 rounds of talks. In fact, not one chapter in the negotiations. But, for Sigma Gabriel this is not merely an exercise in stating the obvious.
As Germany is going to the polls in 2017, the German Social Democrats are keen to touch base with a disaffected electorate that views TTIP with suspicion. Gabriel leads the Junior coalition partner SPD in a campaign that polls suggest will not be easy.
SPD has a traditionally close relationship with German Trade Unions that have taken to the streets against the agreement and are planning a massive rally on September 17.
(AP, dpa, Reuters)