Industryweek 6416 Germany Warns It May Not Approve Transatlantic Trade Talks

Germany Warns It May Not Approve Transatlantic Trade Talks

March 27, 2014
German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel warns the EU Commission that Berlin may withhold its approval of landmark EU-U.S. trade talks over a contentious arbitration mechanism.

FRANKFURT, Germany -- German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel has warned the EU Commission in Brussels that Berlin may withhold its approval of landmark EU-U.S. trade talks over a contentious arbitration mechanism.

In a March 26 letter addressed to EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht, Gabriel insisted that the new provision -- known as the investor-state dispute settlement -- be excluded from the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership because current legislation is sufficient.

"From the perspective of the [German] federal government, the United States and Germany already have sufficient legal protection in the national courts," Gabriel wrote.

The investor-state dispute settlement provision will allow private investors to sue governments if they felt local laws threatened their investments.

Under an ambitious timetable, the EU and the U.S. aim to sign the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership by the end of the year.

Before then they will have to hammer out common rules and regulations on everything from auto safety to banking regulations.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014

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