The US and the European Union face a major challenge to achieve a free trade deal before President Barack Obama’s term of office ends in January 2017, according to a EU official.
David O’Sullivan, the EU’s ambassador to the United States, said a deal within the lifetime of the current US administration might be difficult to reach, although it’s “still in the realm of possibility”, Reuters reported.
“I think it’s doable but I think it’s going to be a very heavy, heavy lift,” O’Sullivan was quoted as saying at an event in London, referring to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
As the US gets preoccupied with its presidential election next year, it could make it hard to push through a deal, he said.
Last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she still hoped the EU would reach an outline framework for a deal with the US by the end of the year, shortly after the US Congress agreed to debate giving Obama more negotiating powers.
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