U.S. threatens to block easing of EU car exports in TTIP talks, media report

Mon May 2, 2016 7:25am EDT
 
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BERLIN (Reuters) - The United States is threatening to prevent the easing of export controls on European cars in order to force Europe to buy more U.S. agricultural products, Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper and ARD public broadcaster reported on Sunday.

In talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a sweeping U.S.-European free trade deal, the United States has also blocked a European call to replace private arbitration tribunals, responsible for corporative lawsuits, with a public state model, the reports said.

The media outlets said they obtained 240 pages of internal negotiations documents from the environment group Greenpeace. Several people familiar with the negotiations confirmed that the documents were current, the media said.

The documents suggest the United States is putting more pressure on the European Union in ongoing negotiations for a transatlantic free trade deal than previously thought, the media outlets said.

The top negotiators trying to reach agreement on the trade deal avoided agriculture, public procurement and other thorny issues in talks last week.

Instead, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Daniel Mullaney and European Commission lead negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercera said on Friday, they concentrated on less controversial areas such as small and medium enterprises and technical language.

But both insisted after their 13th negotiating round in New York that they can still reach an agreement this year before U.S. President Barack Obama leaves office in January.

Greenpeace said in a statement it will give a news conference on the documents in Berlin on Monday 0900 GMT (0500 ET).

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber, editing by Larry King)

 
Christian Stroebele, member of the lower house of parliament Bundestag and of the Green Party, takes a picture of a copy of the leaked TTIP negotiations inside a public reading room by the environmental campaign group Greenpeace in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, May 2, 2016. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch