[Euractiv] Hollande to Obama: Let’s agree TTIP fast

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French President François Hollande said yesterday (12 February) “speed is of the essence” for a European Union-US trade deal and that the accord would strengthen economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic. […]

« We have everything to gain from going quickly. Otherwise, we know there would be a pileup of fears, of threats, of anxiety, » Hollande said. « So, if we are in good faith, if we are all respectful of the other party’s position, if we are attached to growth, we can move quickly. » […]

The US-EU deal, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, is controversial on both sides of the Atlantic. In the United States, labour groups worry it will promote an exodus of jobs as employers seek cheaper labour or looser standards abroad. In Europe, there are fears the deal could dilute consumer protections. […]

During a recent debate in the French Senate, all political parties harshly criticised TTIP, but the French government defended the potential deal.