EU Sees Trump Freezing Talks on Trans-Atlantic Trade PactBy
Europe must ‘wait and see,’ trade chief Malmstrom says
U.S. president-elect has criticized initiatives such as TTIP
European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said EU-U.S. negotiations on a free-trade agreement would probably be put on hold indefinitely because of Donald Trump’s victory in the American presidential election.
Trump lashed out at market-opening initiatives such as the planned Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, during his successful campaign to succeed U.S. President Barack Obama. Trump, the Republican Party’s candidate, defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 election and is due to take office in January.
“There will be a natural pause, of course, while we wait for the next administration; then, for quite some time TTIP will probably be in the freezer,” Malmstrom told reporters on Friday in Brussels after a meeting of trade ministers from the 28-nation EU. “Then what happens when it’s defrosted, I think we will need to wait and see.”
The EU and U.S. have spent three years working on an accord to expand the world’s biggest economic relationship by eliminating tariffs on goods, enlarging services markets, opening public procurement and bolstering regulatory cooperation. Obama and European leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel had called TTIP a policy priority.
The two sides have held 15 rounds of talks since 2013. The last round took place in October in New York.
“I don’t see the resumption of any TTIP negotiation in quite a long time,” Malmstrom said on Friday.
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