30 Aug 2016
(AFP) – France will ask the European Commission to halt negotiations on a massive trade deal between the European Union and the United States, the country’s junior minister for trade said Tuesday.
“There is no more political support in France for these negotiations” and “France calls for an end to these negotiations,” Matthias Fekl told RMC radio.
Negotiators from the US and the EU are in talks to finalise the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) which would create the world’s largest free-trade area.
But the negotiations have been bogged down over the terms of the agreement as well as Britain’s shock vote to leave the EU and rising opposition to the deal in France and Germany.
The setbacks have raised serious doubts that it will be achieved by the end of the year as hoped.
Fekl said the talks are weighted in favour of the Americans.
“The Americans give nothing or just crumbs… that is not how negotiations are done between allies,” he said.
“We need a clear and definitive halt to these negotiations in order to restart on a good foundation”.
France will make this case at a meeting of foreign trade ministers in Bratislava in September, Fekl added.
Activists who have opposed TTIP since negotiations began in 2013 say the deal would only benefit multinationals and harm consumers.
France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls has said it would be “impossible” for the two sides to conclude negotiations on a trade deal by the end of 2016.
And Germany’s vice chancellor and economy minister Sigmar Gabriel said Sunday that the negotiations were effectively dead in the water.
Behind the scenes, top diplomats have told AFP talks may be suspended until after the US presidential election in November as well as elections in France and Germany next year.
Hillary Called It An ‘Economic NATO’, Now TTIP Is In Ruins
29 Aug 2016
You’d think, by reading the BBC coverage at least, that Hillary Clinton is dead opposed to big, corporate, globalist trade deals like the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
Andrew Walker writes today, as the Germans declare the “free trade deal” all but dead:
Mr Obama has been consistently enthusiastic about the [TTIP] plan. His successor may not be. Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, has been particularly critical of some of the country’s trade agreements.
His Democrat opponent, Hillary Clinton, has also expressed reservations about some US trade agreements – especially the Transpacific Partnership (TPP). As Secretary of State, she supported the TPP negotiations but has said more recently that the result did not meet her standards. Her position probably reflects the growing concerns among American voters.
He makes zero mention of the fact that just a few years ago Mrs. Clinton was lauding TTIP as an “economic NATO” in the face of growing public scrutiny. Of course the BBC chooses to cover her statements on TPP, where Mrs. Clinton had to make sure not to alienate Bernie Sanders voters, rather than reflect her position on the actual issue at hand: TTIP. Her old
Her old boss, Barack Obama, even flew to Europe to try and stop the rot as the deal began to unravel earlier this year.
Not only is the latest development – or lack of it – deeply embarrassing for him, it is deeply embarrassing for the trans-Atlantic political establishment who had promised to dot the Is and cross the Ts by the end of this year. They feared a Republican candidate in the White House, scrutinising the deal closely for things that would harm small American businesses. And this was before Donald Trump won the nomination.
The Guardian noted in July: “The Obama administration has said if it cannot sign an TTIP agreement, it wants the task to be passed to Hilary Clinton.”
And it is also perhaps a sign of how Brexit – Britain’s exit vote from the European Union – has scuppered the globalists. Without Britain in the European Union, an EU-U.S. trade deal becomes far less urgent. The political left – who en masse opposed TTIP but also did not want Brexit – should now be lining up to thank Nigel Farage and all those involved in stopping this huge, corporate stitch-up. Don’t hold your breath.
Of course what the media will get at now is recent comments from Mrs. Clinton where she said she’d block trade deals that were bad for American jobs. In which case she’d have to block TPP, TTIP, as well repealing NAFTA. But her comments were widely interpreted as being a sop to the Bernie Sanders voters she so desperately needs on her side to win this election, rather than a genuine change of heart on the issue.
At best, Mrs. Clinton has repeatedly flip-flopped on the issue, trying to find a balance between her big corporate donors and the lefter-wing Democrat voters she needs.
Even on TPP, rather than TTIP, Mrs. Clinton has described it as the “gold standard in trade agreements”. Only when she stopped pulling her hair back tight, donning black coats and black sunglasses (i.e. wanted to run for President) did she begin to change her tune.
The fact is that she opposed Brexit and failed. She opposes the nationalist movements sweeping Europe, beating her friends out of government, and presenting her with some serious challenges in even getting along with U.S. allies if she becomes President. And she backed TTIP and TPP, which are now themselves crumbling around her.
Before Mrs. Clinton has even begun to think about measuring for curtains in the Oval Office, her entire foreign policy and international economic platforms are in ruins.