TTIP Negotiations

Greenpeace Leaks U.S.-E.U. Trade Documents

Barack Obama US president Angela Merkel German chancellor Hanover Messe April 2016 source AP
Are the United States and Europe on the same wavelength to reach a trade agreement?
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    A new trade agreement between the United States and Europe has increasingly been met with skepticism, reducing chances the two sides can a reach a deal before U.S. President Obama leaves office early next year.

  • Facts


    • The negotiations have been surrounded with secrecy, with both the United States and Europe unwilling to fully disclose negotiation and draft documents.
    • U.S. President Obama and German Chancellor Merkel spoke in favor of the trans-Atlantic pact at the opening of the Hanover industrial trade fair last week.
    • A Bertelsmann Foundation survey last month found that only one in five Germans think TTIP is a good thing, down from 55 percent in 2014.
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The environmental group Greenpeace on Monday released secret documents it had obtained detailing negotiations between the United States and Europe on the new free-trade agreement, known as the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP.

Among the biggest findings: The documents show that the United States has threatened to keep car import tariffs in place unless Europe agrees to ease restrictions on U.S. agricultural products, German newspaper the Süddeutsche Zeitung and state broadcasters WDR and NDR reported, citing parts of the papers.

The German media outlets received the documents in advance from Greenpeace, adding that experts had confirmed the documents’ authenticity.

The United States “have urgently made clear that progress on the aspect of car parts would only be possible if the European Union moved on the matter of agricultural import duties,” Süddeutsche Zeitung cited from the documents.

The European Union’s trade commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, played down the documents’ release, in a blog post arguing “it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are areas where the E.U. and the U.S. have different views.”

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