U.S. President Barack Obama is in Germany in an attempt to boost efforts to finalise the free-trade deal before he leaves office.
Negotiations surrounding the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, better known as TTIP, “will fail” if the United States refuses to make concessions, German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel warned Sunday ahead of a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama.
“The Americans want to hold fast to their ‘Buy American’ idea. We can’t accept that. They don’t want to open their public tenders to European companies,” Gabriel, who is also Germany’s deputy chancellor, told business newspaper Handelsblatt.
“If the Americans hold fast to this position, we don’t need the free trade treaty. And TTIP will fail,” he warned.
TTIP has run into major opposition in Europe, not least in Germany, where critics have raised the spectre of eroding ecological and labour market standards and condemned the secrecy shrouding the negotiations.
Tens of thousands of people demonstrated Saturday against the trade pact in the northern city of Hanover, where Obama is to hold talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Obama admitted Sunday that certain past trade agreements had “served the interests of large corporations and not necessarily of workers in the countries that participate in them.”
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