The talks on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership are not going well, writes Schadenfreude, our secret Brussels columnist.
Incompatibilities in areas such as health and safety are proving difficult to resolve. These regulations may disguise a type of protectionism that is valued by commercial interests and industry.
Meanwhile, the electorally successful French National Front is telling horror stories about a future in which French diners will unwittingly eat American-bred chicken disinfected with bleach (potassium chloride), aka poulet chlore.
On the US side, the President is still without his ”fast track authority” to approve an agreement, if and when it is reached. The European Union side regards this as a sine qua non since the alternative is Congressional approval – never a safe bet.
Trade deregulation ain’t easy in a world where mutual distrust in on the rise.