Malmström surprised by French move

French President François Hollande does not intend to support a trade deal with the USA in its present form, he said at a press conference and demanded that negotiations end.

His comments have surprised European Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, who says, “The negotiations are underway and I have a telephone meeting with the USA’s trade minister today.”

According to Matthias Fekl, France’s trade minister, there is no longer political support for the negotiations and he is planning to propose, at the meeting of trade ministers in Bratislava in September, that the negotiations are ended so that they can start again on a solid foundation. This comes several days after German vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel claimed negotiations had stranded.

Malmström says: “You must remember that in France and Germany, but also in Austria and Belgium, there is very strong opposition to TTIP, and that is affecting the debate and the ministers’ approaches. However the German government is completely behind TTIP and the majority of the countries support it.”