The fate of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has been hanging in the balance in recent months as Brexit left the world wondering what would happen next and as one European leader after another essentially called the trade deal a flop.
Now it’s looking even more likely that the agreement won’t be concluded before President Obama leaves the office.
At a ministers’ meeting in Bratislava Friday, EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström said, “all ministers expressed their doubts about being able to conclude this before the end of the Obama presidency, and indeed it looks increasingly unlikely,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
More criticism has come out about the TTIP in Europe than in the U.S. as most people stateside are more concerned about what’s going to happen with the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
But the U.S. has been strong in their commitment to getting the deal done this year.
Speaking at the Sourcing Summit 2016 on Tuesday, Assistant U.S. Trade Rep for Textiles at USTR Bill Jackson said both President Obama and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said the deal is an important one and should be settled soon.
“There’s a lot at stake here and the administration is committed to taking this as far as we can take it this year and we’ll see what happens,” he said.
If the TTIP deal isn’t settled before the president passes the reins, it could falter for any length of time as the incoming president determines what he or she will deal with first.
A number of sticking points remain to be settled, like market access rules and regulatory environments, and all will be discussed at the upcoming round of talks slated to be held in New York the first week of October.
“We’re very supportive of continuing those negotiations to the point of reaching conclusion,” Steve Lamar, executive vice president of the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA), said speaking at Tuesday’s Summit. “We’re not putting a deadline on when that needs to be done. We’ll say that it’s got to be the right agreement.”