06:59 GMT +326 April 2017
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    Looks like the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) might expect some delays, as France threatened to stop further negotiations between the European Union (EU) and the United States.

    France Threatens to Stall TTIP Talks if Their Interests Not Considered

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    Looks like the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) might expect some delays, as France threatened to stop further negotiations between the European Union (EU) and the United States.

    France wants to see that concrete steps and significant progress are taken to ensure French interests are considered; otherwise the French are out, Reuters said.

    "I indicated in September that if there was no progress, we should end the negotiations. That option is still on the table," French Trade Minister Matthias Fekl said, as cited by Reuters.

    Before the 13th round of EU-US talks will resume in New York, many emphasized that negotiators should try to make solid progress before the end of Barack Obama's presidential term.

    "We're aware that some countries want to get a deal at all costs within the US time frame," Fekl said, as cited by Reuters.

    However, Fekl is more careful in his approach and said the French won't rush in head first without making sure conditions favorable for France are met.

    The United States isn't the only country expecting elections soon. France has its own presidential elections scheduled for the spring of 2017 and campaigning is now underway.

    French President François Hollande already hinted that France might just say no to TTIP, if the treaty would harm the French economy.

    "If there's no reciprocity, if there is no transparency, if there's a danger to farmers, if we don't have access to public markets while the US has access to everything we do here, then I won't accept it," the French president said during his interview last week.

    The TTIP deal, which aims to deregulate US-EU trade, has been criticized for its lack of transparency, prompting the Commission to publish some of the TTIP documents.

    European lawmakers have laid down a set of principles they want to be observed during the ongoing talks, including greater transparency, inviolability of social and environmental standards, and respect of the EU's red lines, she continued.

    Last year, the secretive deal sparked widespread concern that it would lower environmental, health, safety, and workers' rights standards in Europe, as well as enable the extra-judicial settlement of disputes in circumvention of national sovereignty.    

    Related:

    Brexit Won't Spare UK From Toxic TTIP Deal
    Transatlantic Alliance: US, EU Trade Unions Speak Out Against TTIP
    Tags:
    TTIP, negotiations, free trade, European Union, Matthias Fekl, Francois Hollande, United States, France
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