TTIP agreement unlikely before U.S. elections – German economy minister

German economy minister Sigmar Gabriel says he doubts there will be a framework for TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) before the U.S. elections, but warns opponents that they cannot be afraid to negotiate with the United States on the transatlantic trade deal.

BERLIN, GERMANY (SEPTEMBER 28, 2015) (REUTERS) – It is unlikely that an agreement will be reached on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) before U.S. presidential elections in November 2016, Germany’s economy minister said on Monday (September 28).

“Personally I have my doubts whether there will really be at least a framework for TTIP before the U.S. presidential elections,” Sigmar Gabriel told the audience at a discussion of TTIP in Berlin.

As protesters both outside and inside the venue voiced their opposition to the U.S.-EU deal to eliminate tariff barriers, Gabriel said those who wanted to end negotiations were wrong.

“My urgent advice to everybody who wants rules for globalisation is you cannot have the jitters when it comes to negotiating with the motherland of globalisation. As a European, you must consciously engage with this issue – always retaining the freedom to say no at the end – and negotiate to reach the best outcome. That is the only way I consider to be progressive,” he said.

If agreed, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would encompass a third of world trade.

While many businesses welcome the accord to create a market of 800 million people, hoping it will add $100 billion a year to economic output on both sides of the Atlantic, opponents in Europe say it could erode EU standards on food safety and the environment, and that negotiations have not been transparent.

A junior French minister on Monday slammed a perceived lack of reciprocity in talks between the United States and the European Union, saying France did not rule out terminating negotiations.