The French trade minister Mattias Feckl joined the German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel in pronouncing The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) a failure.
Franco-German social democrats
Speaking to RMC Radio, Matthias Fekl made clear he would request from his fellow ministers in Bratislava on September 22nd to end TTIP negotiations; he also said that a clear end was the prerequisite for their relaunch.
Germany’s Vice Chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, told ZDF on Sunday that the three years and 16-rounds negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) have failed. On Tuesday, the Social Democrat Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was more cautious, saying that Europe and the Unites States were still “far away.”
Gabriel is the chairman of the Germany Social Democratic Party (SPD), a junior coalition patner in Angela Merkel’s grand coalition government. Social Democrats have serious reservations about TTIP.
It appears there is an alignment between the leaders of the Social Democrats in Germany and the French Socialists in France. But, the European Commission and perhaps the People’s Party are not ready to give up on TTIP.
European Commission, the White House, and Angela Merkel
There are no good omens for TTIP.
Not a single of the negotiating chapters has closed, while there are forthcoming elections in November in the US and in April 2017 in France and Germany. A deal before November or indeed April 2017 is a tall order.
On Monday the European Commission’s spokesman Margaritis Schinas told a news conference that talks are at a “crucial stage,” but there is an outline of the agreement and “the ball is rolling.”
Angela Merkel herself still back the talks.
White House spokesman John Easnest also said that the “president and his team are committed” to a resolution of admittedly “thorny” issues.
In substance, after three years and 16 rounds of negotiations negotiations have not yielded any concrete result in key issues such as food and environmental safety.
Supporters of the deal claim TTIP worth $100 bn in economic gains for both side, although critics suggest it is a deal designed to empower multinationals against consumers, governments, and workers.