Dutch trade minister Lilianne Ploumen has told broadcaster NOS that the ongoing TTIP trade talks between Europe and the US are proceeding with difficulty and without concessions from America, the treaty will not happen.
Europe, Ploumen said, had made demands which need to be met before the treaty can become a reality. These include conditions for food safety and both the environmental and social aspects of the treaty.
‘Without concessions from the Americans, I don’t see it happening,’ Ploumen said. Time is running out, given the next round of negotiations is due in October and that the US presidential elections take place in November, she said.
Ploumen was reacting to comments made by Germany’s economic affairs minister Sigmar Gabriel who said he felt the talks had failed but that ‘no one is really admitting it’.
He said that during the 14 rounds of talks so far, neither side had agreed on a single common chapter out of the 27 on the table.
‘Many of us in Europe think it is time for a “reset” in trade politics,’ Ploumen said. The treaty should be done differently, there should be greater transparency and more effort made to make sure that ordinary citizens understand the advantages, she said.
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