EU-US: Negotiations on TTIP will continue into 2016
The EU and the US will continue negotiating well into 2016 on the prospect of creating a transatlantic trade partnership, the EU’s chief negotiator Ignacio Garcia Berceo said on Tuesday.
He added that the discussions were about to enter a "more difficult" and "intense" stage.
This year is seen as crucial in making progress on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), with the US presidential election set for 2016 and President Barack Obama leaving office in January 2017.
Nothing has been agreed so far and expectations of a rapid deal are low.
"At this point in time I don’t want to rule in or rule out anything in terms of what is possible before the end of this year," the EU's chief negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero told a news conference in Berlin.
"But it is clear that a completion of the negotiations, a conclusion of the agreement, that is something that will require more time than 2015," he said, adding that he did not believe the forthcoming US election campaign would derail the talks.
"The United States has been telling us very clearly that they can continue negotiating with us in 2016," he said.