The American Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has re-launched negotiations for the TTIP, the free trade agreement between the U.S. and Europe. During an interview with CNBC, he specified: “It’s no mistake that, while we withdrew from TPP [a similar free trade treaty with Asian countries except China] we did not withdraw from TTIP.”
This is a resumption of negotiations that, shortly before Trump’s election, were considered “failed.” One of the first shocks to optimism was Brexit. Then German Economy Minister and Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, who considered the negotiations at a standstill, stepped in and stressed the need for Europe to safeguard its economies from excessive American demands. French Prime Minister Valls asked for a break in consultations.
That’s when Merkel tried to defuse the problem by recalling the importance of the agreement. Actually, this had already been underlined by the European negotiators and the determination of the United States in trying to impose its own conditions (especially in regards to big data, rather than the other purely commercial matters).