Time to save TTIP tightens

If a deal isn't reached while Obama remains in the White House, it will probably never happen...

Time to save TTIP tightens

Markus Schreiber / AP

Leaders in Washington and across Europe are working to get plans to introduce the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) back on track after a political backlash across the US and the EU.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker will travel to Paris today attempt to convince skeptical mayors from across the country to support the trade deal.

"I believe that TTIP negotiations can yield a deal that will profit the European economy - our small and medium enterprises and our farmers - without harming standards," he said yesterday.

He added that European states need to be "all rowing in the same direction".

Countries including Ireland, the UK and Italy have signalled their support for the bill - while opposition has grown in France and Germany.

It is increasingly unlikely that a trade deal will be agreed before Barrack Obama's time in the White House ends, failure to do so will jeopardise the future of the deal.

Andrew Harnik / AP

Hillary Clinton is opposed to the deal while Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has voiced his opposition to a similar trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact and existing trade deals between the US and China.

"If we don’t complete negotiations this year, then upcoming political transitions in the United States and Europe could mean this agreement won’t be finished for quite some time," Mr Obama said in April.

"I don’t anticipate that we will be able to complete ratification of a deal by the end of this year, but I do anticipate that we will have completed the agreement," he added.

Failure to secure a deal before he leaves office means that negotiations will run into election periods in Germany and France.

European officials still hope to have a working text agreed by the end of July.

France, which has the EU's second largest economy, is the most significant voice on the anti-TTIP side.

The country's president, François Hollande said last month that France will say "no" to any deal "at this stage".

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is a vocal supporter of TTIP. "Insofar as assuring the [US] President of Ireland's contribution to this, we have made it perfectly clear that we will work with our European colleagues and American connections to get this across the line," he told an economic conference in the US embassy last year.