Germans increasingly doubtful of TTIP

Protesters wear Obama and Merkel masks as they demonstrate against TTIP before the opening of Hannover Messe. Germany, 24 April. [Reuters]

Germans are growing increasingly wary of a vast EU-US trade pact currently under negotiation, an opinion poll showed on 5 May, as Chancellor Angela Merkel said she hoped for a deal by December.

Some 70% of Germans polled by the dimap institute for broadcaster ARD said the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal would bring “mostly disadvantages”, up from 55% in a similar poll in June 2014.

For 79% of those questioned, consumer rights were the biggest worry, ARD said.

Only 17% saw “mostly advantages” in the deal, against 31% just under two years ago.

The poll covered 500 people representing a cross-section of the population, ARD said.

Merkel, meanwhile, reiterated her government’s official position Wednesday, saying that she would “do everything to conclude the negotiations”, preferably by the end of 2016.

But German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel warned last month that negotiations on the free trade deal “will fail” if the US refuses to make concessions.

“The Americans want to hold fast to their ‘Buy American’ idea. We can’t accept that,” he said.

France has also hit out at the pact, with President François Hollande saying this week that Paris would reject it “at this stage” because his country opposes “unregulated free trade”.

France claims TTIP talks likely to stop

Negotiations on the planned TTIP agreement between the US and the EU are likely to grind to a halt because of Washington’s reluctance to make concessions, a top French trade official warned today (3 May).

Tens of thousands of Germans have taken to the streets in protest against the pact, including during US President Barack Obama’s Germany visit last month.

Obama, Merkel make joint pitch for EU-US trade deal

US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a joint pitch Sunday (22 April) for more transatlantic trade in the face of mounting opposition, vowing to complete a vast US-EU pact that could spur much-needed economic growth.

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