Talks for a free trade deal between Europe and the US face a serious impasse with “irreconcilable” differences in some areas, according to leaked negotiating texts.Keep reading.
The two sides are also at odds over US demands that would require the EU to break promises it has made on environmental protection.
President Obama said last week he was confident a deal could be reached. But the leaked negotiating drafts and internal positions, which were obtained by Greenpeace and seen by the Guardian, paint a very different picture.
“Discussions on cosmetics remain very difficult and the scope of common objectives fairly limited,” says one internal note by EU trade negotiators. Because of a European ban on animal testing, “the EU and US approaches remain irreconcilable and EU market access problems will therefore remain,” the note says.
Talks on engineering were also “characterised by continuous reluctance on the part of the US to engage in this sector,” the confidential briefing says.
These problems are not mentioned in a separate report on the state of the talks, also leaked, which the European commission has prepared for scrutiny by the European parliament.
These outline the positions exchanged between EU and US negotiators between the 12th and the 13th round of TTIP talks, which took place in New York last week.
The public document offers a robust defence of the EU’s right to regulate and create a court-like system for disputes, unlike the internal note, which does not mention them.
Jorgo Riss, the director of Greenpeace EU, said: “These leaked documents give us an unparalleled look at the scope of US demands to lower or circumvent EU protections for environment and public health as part of TTIP. The EU position is very bad, and the US position is terrible. The prospect of a TTIP compromising within that range is an awful one. The way is being cleared for a race to the bottom in environmental, consumer protection and public health standards.”
Monday, May 2, 2016
At the Guardian UK, "Leaked TTIP documents cast doubt on EU-US trade deal":