U.S. Negotiator Holds Open Possibility That TTIP May Not Conclude In 2016

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Updated: BRUSSELS -- In a closed-door meeting with European business representatives here Tuesday (Feb. 23), U.S. chief negotiator Dan Mullaney appeared to back off the administration's publicly stated goal of concluding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in 2016, leaving open the possibility that the talks would not finish in that timeframe, according to sources with direct knowledge of the meeting.

[Inside U.S. Trade| February, 23 2016 |http://insidetrade.com/daily-news/us-negotiator-holds-open-possibility-ttip-may-not-conclude-2016]

Updated: BRUSSELS -- In a closed-door meeting with European business representatives here Tuesday (Feb. 23), U.S. chief negotiator Dan Mullaney appeared to back off the administration's publicly stated goal of concluding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in 2016, leaving open the possibility that the talks would not finish in that timeframe, according to sources with direct knowledge of the meeting.

Mullaney did so by emphasizing that the substance of the negotiations will drive the timeline even as he said the U.S. goal remains completing the TTIP talks in 2016, sources said. EU chief negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero has also said the substance should drive the timetable.

But the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has objected to sources' characterization of Mullaney's comments, saying the U.S. chief negotiator was clear in the business briefing that the U.S. intends to conclude the TTIP talks in 2016.

The comments by Mullaney appear to be the latest shift in the Obama administration’s messaging about concluding TTIP. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Feb. 8 that he did not believe the TTIP negotiations would be concluded before President Obama leaves office.

To read more of this article: http://insidetrade.com/daily-news/us-negotiator-holds-open-possibility-ttip-may-not-conclude-2016

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