French minister calls for halt to TTIP talks

French minister calls for halt to TTIP talks

There is ‘no more political support’ in France for EU-US trade pact, foreign trade secretary says.

By Joshua Posaner for Politico Pro

France wants to stop negotiations on a transatlantic trade pact between the EU and U.S., the country’s secretary of state for foreign trade said Tuesday.

Matthias Fekl said “there is no more political support in France for these negotiations,” adding that “France calls for an end to these negotiations,” according to AFP.

Fekl also echoed that sentiment on social media, tweeting: “France demands the cessation of negotiations” for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

A motion to halt the talks will be proposed at a meeting of EU foreign trade ministers in Bratislava next month.

Fekl said on RMC radio that TTIP talks are weighted in favor of the U.S.

“We need a clear and definitive halt to these negotiations in order to restart on a good foundation,” Fekl said.

If signed, TTIP would create the world’s largest free trade area, but opposition to the pact has grown over recent months, notably in France and Germany.

Germany’s Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Monday in an interview with German public broadcaster ZDF that TTIP talks had failed despite 14 rounds of talks between EU and U.S. negotiators.

“Negotiations with the United States have de facto failed, because we, as Europeans, must not bow to American demands,” Gabriel said.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said Monday that TTIP talks were making “steady progress.” An EU spokesperson also said Monday that talks would continue.