German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff is insisting that Berlin wants to press ahead with concluding a sweeping European Union-U.S. trade deal, underscoring divisions in the country’s governing coalition.
Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who’s also vice chancellor and leads the center-left junior party in Merkel’s coalition, has said that trade negotiations with the U.S. “have de facto failed.”
Merkel’s conservatives, however, are standing by the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Her chief of staff, Peter Altmaier, said the government had agreed three years ago that TTIP should go ahead because it’s in Germany’s interest.
He told ZDF television Wednesday: “We will do everything to achieve TTIP. The final negotiations over the final meters will be particularly difficult — they always are — but I think we can achieve it.”