The basis for the negotiations is a joint negotiating mandate from the EU Member States. The German government, just like all the other national governments of the EU member states, was involved in the drafting of the negotiating mandate. In line with Germany’s clearly stated desire, the European Commission published the negotiating mandate on 9 October 2014.
Status of the negotiations
In August 2016, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy undertook a comprehensive evaluation of the state of play. Agreement had yet to be reached on any of the 27-30 chapters of the agreement at that time, although positions had moved closer together on some of them.
The stock-taking by the EU trade ministers also came to the conclusion that the negotiations could not be concluded whilst the Obama administration was still in office. The latest of 15 rounds so far took place in New York from 3 to 7 October 2016. The drafting work continued at technical level until January 2017 and a joint report was drawn up by the European Commission and the USTR to document the state-of-play of the negotiations. The talks were suspended in January 2017.
At present, it is unclear whether and how the talks with the new U.S. administration can be continued. The U.S. Administration has indicated that, in principle, they are open to resuming the negotiations.
EU publishes draft texts and position papers
Regarding many chapters of the planned agreement, the European Commission has published both easy-to-understand 2-page factsheets and specific proposals for wordings which are being used in the negotiations with the U.S..
For example, after the twelfth round of negotiations, the European Commission published a revised on regulatory cooperation between the EU and the U.S.. Also, since the 11th round of negotiations, the European Commission has provided detailed reports to the public in all the EU languages.