Trade negotiations between the U.S. and EU on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) have stalled, and Germany’s Economy Minister, Sigmar Gabriel, has shared his own beliefs as to why they have.
On Sunday, Gabriel said rather emphatically, “The negotiations with the USA have de facto failed because we Europeans did not want to subject ourselves to American demands.”
Although both Washington D.C. and Brussels have pushed for an agreement by the end of the year, many member states of the EU have expressed strong opposition.
Gabriel revealed how that in 14 rounds of talks, the EU and U.S. haven’t agreed on a single common item out of the 27 chapters being discussed.
He speculates that the U.S. is angry over a trade deal struck between Canada and the EU called the CETA, in which there are elements that the U.S. would be hesitant to accept.
Neither the U.S. trade representative in Washington nor the European Commission were willing to weigh in on Gabriel’s comments.
It is believed that Gabriel’s comments will make it harder for the two sides to come to a swift agreement.
Angela Merkel, Germany’s Chancellor, has gone on record to say that the TTIP is “absolutely in Europe’s interest.”
It would seem, however, that opposition to a free trade agreement with the U.S. is strongest in Germany. There are plans for protests to the proposed deal in mid-September, which would mark a year before the country’s next general election.