US-EU trade deal in doubt as Francois Hollande opposes concluding process

French Trade Minister Matthias Fekl said a halt to the trade talks was now likely

French President Francois Hollande: “As things stand in the international trade negotiations, the French position is ‘no’,” he  said in a speech in Paris. Photograph: Getty Images

French President Francois Hollande: “As things stand in the international trade negotiations, the French position is ‘no’,” he said in a speech in Paris. Photograph: Getty Images

 

French President Francois Hollande said yesterday he was opposed at this stage to concluding the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the European Union and the US.

“As things stand in the international trade negotiations, the French position is ‘no’,” Hollande said in a speech in Paris.

Earlier French Trade Minister Matthias Fekl said a halt to the trade talks was now likely. France has been particularly vocal about what it sees as a lack of movement on the US side.

All 28 EU member states and the European parliament will have to ratify TTIP before it comes into force. But that day seems further away than ever, with talks bogged down after 13 rounds of negotiations over nearly three years.

The gulf between the two sides was highlighted by a massive leak of documents on Monday, first reported by the Guardian, which revealed “irreconcilable” differences on consumer protection and animal welfare standards.

The publication of 248 pages of negotiating texts and internal positions, obtained by Greenpeace, showed the sides remain far apart on how to align regulations on environment and consumer protection.