The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations, designed to forge a trade deal between the European Union and the USA, have collapsed, German’s economy minister has announced.
The cause of the collapse has been cited as failure to move forward on any of the major planks of the deal, which has been dogged by controversy and widespread opposition from all sides of the political spectrum.
“In my opinion, the negotiations with the United States have de facto failed, even though nobody is really admitting it,” Sigmar Gabriel admitted during a question-and-answer session with citizens in Berlin, noting that in 14 rounds of talks, the two sides haven’t agreed on a single common item out of 27 chapters being discussed.
Neither Washington nor the European Commission, which is leading the TTIP negotiations on behalf of EU member states, were willing to comment on Gabriel’s interjection.
Last month the German chancellor Angela Merkel insisted that TTIP was “absolutely in Europe’s interest,” but yesterday Gabriel blasted: “We mustn’t submit to the American proposals.”
The collapse of the talks vindicates pro-Brexit campaigners, who argued that Britain would be better placed to forge free trade deals outside the EU where it could act more nimbly and to its own interests. President Obama was forced to address the issue in his anti-Brexit speech, warning that leaving the EU would preclude Britain from taking part in TTIP style deals.
But far from being cast out of the global trading arena, Britain’s decision to leave the EU may be one of the causes of the collapse, as it effectively withdraws one of the largest European economic markets from the negotiating table.
The deal’s collapse will also come as welcome news to campaigners on the left and right alike, who had argued that the deal was anti-democratic, served corporate interests, and supported a globalist agenda.
Breitbart London led the way in exposing the so-called ‘free trade’ deal as a shady sham, when in May Rep Jeff Duncan revealed that in order to access the documents as a Congressman, he “must be in a classified reading room in the Capitol, sign a non-disclosure agreement which assures that I will not discuss the contents of what I have read, and I am allowed to take notes, but I have to leave them in the room.”
On the other side of the Atlantic, Breitbart London uncovered video footage of a Member of the European Parliament being escorted into a guarded reading room to view the documents, only to be kicked out when ‘minders’ caught him taking notes.
Wikileaks went on to offer a €100,000 reward to anyone willing and able to leak documents from the deal.
The report came just days after Breitbart London revealed how TTIP-style deals allow major corporations to sue national governments for democratically-mandated policies, contrary to assertions by President Obama that the deal did not pose a risk of corporate lawsuits.
In fact, following the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), US corporations sued the Canadian government for a total $2 billion, leading to the British government warning that the UK “would be more prone to US claims than Canada”.
In March, Nick Dearden, director of the Global Justice Now campaign group said of TTIP: “It’s all about giving big business more power over a very wide range of laws and regulations. In fact, business lobbies are on record as saying they want to co-write laws with governments – this gets them a step closer. This isn’t an ‘add on’ or a small part of TTIP – it’s absolutely central.”