European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Sunday that the trade deal being negotiated between the European Union and United States remains a priority, in spite of rising skepticism about it success.
"We are continuing to negotiate with the US because we think these trade agreements are of highest importance," Juncker told reporters ahead of the Group of 20 summit in Hangzhou, China, attended by both US and EU leaders.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the US would create the world's largest free trade area, but it has been plagued by criticism on both sides of the Atlantic.
TTIP negotiations have been ongoing for more than three years, with both sides aiming to reach the outlines of an agreement before 2017, when US President Barack Obama leaves office, and both France and Germany gear up for elections.
German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel kicked off the latest round of criticism last week, saying the talks had "effectively failed."
Other German officials, as well as US and European officials, however said the talks remain ongoing.
The deal also faces headwinds in the US amid rising anti-trade sentiment that has stalled a vote on a separate Pacific trade deal.