The controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal between the EU and the United States to create the biggest customs union in the world has "failed" as leading politicians in both France and Germany suggested it is falling apart, Sputnik has been told.sputniknews.com
The news will be a massive blow to US President Barack Obama who
has made it a cornerstone of his term of office, pushing for it to be
signed before he leaves the White House. It was already in trouble after
the Brexit referendum, but with both Paris and Berlin weighing in, the
whole deal is looking less likely to be signed.
French trade minister Matthias Fekl RMC radio and BFM TV:
"What France is demanding is the pure, simple and definitive halt of
these negotiations. There is no political backing by France to these
His comments come days after Germany Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said
that the TTIP talks "de facto have failed, even though nobody is really
Kevin Smith a spokesperson for campaign group Global Justice Now told
Sputnik: "The fact that TTIP has failed is testament to the hundreds of
thousands of people who took to the streets to protest against it, the
three million people who signed a petition calling for it to be
scrapped, and the huge coalition of civil society groups, trade unions
and activists who came together to stop it.
"TTIP would have resulted in a massive corporate power grab, and
sovereign democracies across the EU would have been deeply compromised,"
French President Francois Hollande put the deal further into doubt when
he told diplomats Tuesday (August 30):"These discussions cannot result in an agreement by the end of the year.
The negotiations have bogged down, the positions have not been
respected, the imbalance is obvious."
The TTIP would create the biggest trading zone in the world opening up
the EU and US markets to each other. However, the talks have been mired
in controversy because of their secretive nature, disagreements over
regulatory issues — food safety and genetic modification in particular —
and the contentious Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism.
One of the major stumbling blocks has been over the detail of regulatory
difference between the US and the EU. A common trade agreement requires
commonality of regulatory issues. None is more important than food and
farming — affecting what people put in their mouths.
Food regulations in the EU and the US are different, with the EU being
less open to genetic modification that the US. In order to have a trade
agreement, the two sides need to agree on a common regulatory framework.
In the event of a US firm not being allowed to sell its products — such
as beef and pork treated with growth hormones, chicken washed in
chlorine, fruit and vegetables treated with endocrine-disrupting
pesticides and genetically engineered and modified foods, as are all
currently allowed in the US — in the EU, the firm could sue the EU or
Such a situation would trigger the controversial ISDS mechanism, which
critics say is a secretive trade tribunal system, separate from EU
member states judiciary systems.
EU spokesman Margaritis Schinas denied the talk had broken down, saying:
"The ball keeps rolling on TTIP [but that it would not] sacrifice
Europe's safety, health, social and data protection standards or our
cultural diversity on the altar of free trade," signaling the
difficulties the negotiations were in.