President Obama said that the long-awaited trade deal between the USA and the European Union (EU) will not happen “anytime soon”, casting doubts on the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) long lauded by Europhiles and U.S. establishment figures.
Mr. Obama answered questions from the press alongside British Prime Minister David Cameron during his London visit Friday. One question in particular asked the President what the consequences of a British exit of the European Union would be when it came to trade with the United States. He said Britain would fall “to the back of the queue” in regards to trade deals like the TTIP.
The President told the press that a U.S./EU trade deal is “not going to happen anytime soon,” and remarked that trade deals between large blocs like the European Union are easier to coordinate rather than what he called a, “hugely inefficient” deal with the UK on it’s own.
The President’s remarks are not the first blow to the TTIP as Breitbart London reported this week that the French government are threatening to halt the process entirely because they feel there has been a distinct lack of progress in the negotiations.
French Trade Minister Matthias Fekl said, “I indicated in September that if there was no progress, we should end the negotiations. That option is still on the table,” and indicated that unlike other countries who want the deal done in what he called the “U.S. time frame” he remarked, “that’s not the French approach.”
TTIP is very unpopular on the French left, especially amongst farmers. French President Francois Hollande echoed the statement of his Trade Minister saying , “If there’s no reciprocity, if there is no transparency, if there’s a danger to farmers, if we don’t have access to public markets while the U.S. has access to everything we do here, then I won’t accept it.”
Mr. Hollande has been careful over his comments regarding TTIP as many of the main opponents make up the voting base that he wishes to strengthen for the upcoming election next year. He is facing stiff competition from the Front National leader Marine Le Pen who has been clear in her opposition to the deal.
The clear topic that has defined the current visit of U.S. President Obama has been the British referendum on EU membership in June.
President Obama has made it clear that he supports a Britain within the European Union saying Britain is, “at its best when it’s helping to lead a strong Europe,” but UKIP leader Nigel Farage pointed out that Obama will not be in office to see over any new trade deals in a post-EU Britain.
Mr. Farage remarked on twitter, “President Obama won’t be in office by the time we’re out of the EU post-referendum. Trade deal of course in both countries interests.”