France Analysis

Why France is backtracking on free trade deal with US

The French government was initially enthusiastic about the free trade agreement being negotiated between the European Union and the United States. However in recent months Paris, and in particular overseas trade minister Matthias Fekl, has taken a tougher line on the so-called TAFTA deal. Talks on the agreement resume in New York on Monday April 25th, while the day before President Barack Obama will raise the issue with German chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. But as Ludovic Lamant reports, the chances of a deal being struck before the end of Obama's term of office look increasingly remote.

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On Monday April 25th the 13th round of talks over a free trade agreement between the European Union and the United States gets under way in New York. Discussions between the two sides look set to be difficult. The EU's trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström believes that it is still “possible” to find an agreement between now and the end of the year. But not too many other people share that view.

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