EU Mulls Changed Tack on U.S. Trade Pact

BRUSSELS (AP) -
A man walks past various currency signs, including the dollar (top R), Australian dollar (top L), pound sterling (centre L) and Euro (bottom L), outside a brokerage in Tokyo October 28, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino/File Photo
A man walks past various currency signs, including the dollar (top R), Australian dollar (top L), pound sterling (center L) and Euro (bottom L), outside a brokerage in Tokyo. (Reuters/Yuya Shino/File Photo)

European Union nations doubt that they can conclude a massive trade pact with the U.S. anytime soon and are debating whether to change tack on the talks.

Slovak Economy Minister Peter Ziga, whose country holds the EU’s rotating presidency, said Friday that “there is some new start or some new approach needed.”

After three years of talks, big differences remain over the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, with work needed in all 30 chapters the pact will entail.

The Europeans want to seal a deal before President Barack Obama leaves office in January. Looming elections in France and Germany are also hampering progress.

Belgian Finance Minister Didier Reynders said “we only have a small chance of success unless the United States starts to give a bit of ground.”