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14.59 30 Aug 2016


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French trade minister Matthias Fekl has indicated that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal is dead in the water.

He believes that future talks on the deal should be called off.

"France calls for an end to these negotiations," Mr Fekl declared on RMC radio.

The politician stated that there is "no more political support in France" for the deal and that the US side of the negotiations has only offered "crumbs" to Europe.

This comes days after Sigmar Gabriel, Germany's vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said that talks have, "de facto failed," because, "Europeans, must not bow to American demands."

The EU's lead negotiator in trade talks with the US, Ignacio Garcia Bercero countered by saying that a deal is still possible - but the comments from France suggest that there is now little chance of an agreement being reached.

Throughout the negotiating process, a protest movement against the liberalisation of trade between the US and the EU has formed. One of the main concerns is that the deal would give companies legal rights that are more powerful than those of individual states due to TTIP's investor-state dispute settlement' (IDIS) mechanism.

This allows businesses to take legal action against governments who act in ways which compromise the trade agreement and lead to firms making smaller profits.

US president Barrack Obama previously stated that if TTIP is not completed now it will be years before a trade deal can be negotiated, given a schedule of elections in the US and across Europe.

Irish eyes

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has been a vocal supporter of TTIP during his time leading the country.

"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.

In its election manifesto, Fianna Fail indicated its broad support for a deal, the section on TTIP begins, "Fianna Fáil supports the principle of removing barriers to trade. This is essential for Ireland to be successful."

Although, it adds that they, "also believe that trade deals must be fair and must protect the position of states which aim to ensure high living and employment standards."

Research commissioned by the Irish Government in 2015 concerning the economic impact of TTIP found that it would create 10,000 new jobs in Ireland and cause a permanent 1.1% expansion of the country's domestic economy.

The study was compiled by Copenhagen Economics, it found that a number of sectors of the economy would be boosted by an agreement - but Ireland's lucrative beef industry would shrink by between 2 and 3%.


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