EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said in an interview with dpa published Saturday that she believed a controversial trade deal with the United States could be finalized before a change in leadership in Washington.
She said the EU was aiming to reach an agreement on the transatlantic free-trade agreement before the US elections in November. "It is still too early to say if we will do it, but it is possible," she said.
The trade agreement, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), has been criticized heavily in Germany for handing too much power to multinational corporations and eroding national sovereignty.
The EU's top trade official defended the agreement, saying it was the most transparent there had ever been with thousands of documents relating to it freely available on the internet.
Malmstrom said there would not be an agreement at any price, but said it would be a shame if a deal could not be reached by the end of the year.
She said she plans to meet US Trade Representative Michael Froman next week at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos for further talks.
Supporters of the deal claim that it could create millions of new jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.