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European Officials Differ on State of TTIP Talks

This week European leaders voiced differing opinions about the level of progress being made in Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations between the U.S. and the European Union.

Various news outlets quoted Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s economy minister and vice-chancellor, as saying the TTIP negotiations have failed. That assessment was disputed, however, by Ignacio Garcia Bercero, the EU’s chief TTIP negotiator, and EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, who noted that it is still the EU’s goal to complete negotiations by the end of President Obama’s term.

Later in the week, France’s trade minister told European news outlets that he would seek suspension of the TTIP talks when EU trade ministers meet later this month, but French President Francois Hollande stopped short of supporting that position. Hollande expressed doubt that the negotiations could be concluded this year, but left open the possibility of continuing TTIP talks with the next U.S. administration.