France to call for an end to EU-US free trade talks


Paris says it will appeal to EU Commission in September for an end to negotiations for the TTIP free trade agreement with the United States.

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Talks over the hugely controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the US are in danger as France pushes for an end to negotiations and a German minister says they have failed, reports Deutsche Welle.

Paris announced on Tuesday that it would launch an appeal to the EU Commission in September aimed at ending negotiations for the TTIP free trade agreement with the United States.

France's chief negotiator Matthias Fekl told radio station RMC that Paris was demanding a stop because TTIP had "no political support" in France. "There should be an absolute clear end so that we can restart them on good basis," he added

Already in May, French president François Hollande said he would "never accept" the deal in its current guise because of the rules it enforces on France and the rest of Europe. He mainly criticized plans to deregulate farming and culture, claiming they were too friendly to US businesses.

"We will never accept questioning essential principles for our agriculture, our culture and for the reciprocity of access to public [procurement] markets," Hollande said.

The announcement came just two days after German economy minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Sunday that he considered the talks to be unsuccessful.

"In my opinion, the negotiations with the United States have de facto failed, even though nobody is really admitting it," Gabriel, who is also Germany's vice chancellor and its economic minister, told German broadcaster ZDF.

Read more of this report from Deutsche Welle.

See also: Why France is backtracking on EU-US trade deal

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