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25/09/2016

Merkel urges Europeans to speed up TTIP talks with US

Trade & Society

Merkel urges Europeans to speed up TTIP talks with US

Merkel: The situation is fragile. [Reuters]

German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged European nations on Sunday (16 November) to speed up their negotiations with the United States over a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement between the US and EU.

Speaking at a news conference in Sydney following the Group of 20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia, Merkel said the EU should negotiate in a “speedy and determined” way with the US to complete the trade deal.

Merkel’s remarks follow comments by British Prime Minister David Cameron, who spoke out at the G20 Summit against opponents of the trade deal, where Cameron, Merkel, US President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande met for talks on the TTIP.

TTIP, which has been strongly opposed by trade unions, would eliminate all tariff barriers between the US and EU nations.

The German government itself has been a stumbling block for the agreement. Earlier this year, Germany rejected a similar trade deal with Canada because of a controversial Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism (ISDS) that critics say could allow investors to stop or reverse laws, particularly those relating to the protection of the environment.

“The German government does not view as necessary stipulations on investor protection, including on arbitration cases between investors and the state with states that guarantee a resilient legal system and sufficient legal protection from independent national courts,” wrote Deputy Economy Minister Stefan Kapferer.

In the letter, dated June 26, Kapferer took a similar position on investor protection in the still-to-be-agreed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement with the United States.

>> Read: Germany threatens to reject EU-Canada free trade deal

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