EU Trade Negotiator Plays Down Reports of EU-U.S. Pact Failure

(Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
U.S. and EU currency. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The European Union’s lead negotiator in trade talks with the United States is downplaying an assertion from the German economy minister that negotiations on the proposed pact have failed.

When asked Monday by The Associated Press whether the claims were true, chief EU negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero said: “No, no. Remember what Mark Twain said.”  (Twain once quipped that reports of his death were an exaggeration.)

Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who is also Germany’s vice chancellor, said Sunday: “In my opinion, the negotiations with the United States have de facto failed, even though nobody is really admitting it.”

Gabriel noted that in 14 rounds of talks on the massive transatlantic pact, the two sides haven’t agreed on a single common item out of 27 chapters being discussed.