German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to get her European counterparts to back the EU-U.S. free trade agreement known as T-TIP. Merkel spent Friday meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama and making her case to American business leaders. CCTV’s Jessica Stone has more from the White House.
German Chancellor Merkel Makes Push for EU-U.S. Trade DealGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to get her European counterparts to back the EU-U.S. free trade agreement known as T-TIP. Merkel spent Friday meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama and making her case to American business leaders. CCTV's Jessica Stone has more from the White House.
Chancellor Merkel made clear that the Ukraine crisis has been a wake up call of the problem of Europe’s dependence on Russian oil and natural gas. She says six nations in the E-U are 100 percent reliant on imported energy. She says the EU is working on an energy union but also sees easier trade with the United States as part of the solution.
At an address to the US Chamber of Commerce, Merkel she would like to see the TTIP negotiations completed by the end of next year. This agreement has been her “baby” and she very much wants it to succeed because it provides rules of the road that would improve international trade standards. She told American business leaders that they needed to work with US unions to get their support. She said she’d like the T-TIP negotiations to address energy trade in particular because Europe needs American natural gas and oil. But she acknowledged that she has plenty of skeptics back home in Germany. President Obama meantime, said a scenario where Russia turned off its natural gas supplies to Europe was unlikely.
“People have doubts and skepticism can be overcome and it needs to be overcome: just look at the many partners around the world that have bilateral agreements. it’s necessary. Energy flows Russia to Europe. those continued in the midst of the cold war at the height of cold war. the idea that you’re going to turn off the tap on all Russian exports is unrealistic,” said the United States President.
On potential broader economic sanctions against Russia — Merkel suggested the pain should be spread across Europe. She says German CEO’s are concerned about the prospect of sanctions but that they have pledged to abide by them. She indicated a trigger for broader sanctions would be the degree to which Russia helps facilitate the May 25th elections in Ukraine.
Michael Czinkota, Professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business weighs in on the implications of Chancellor Angela Merkel visit to Washington.
Interview with Michael Czinkota on Merkel's visit to the U.S.Michael Czinkota, Professor at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business weighs in on the implications of Chancellor Angela Merkel visit to Washington.