The European Union and the United States will continue negotiations over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement despite the forthcoming change in US leadership, negotiators said Friday.
After the 15th round of talks ended in New York, negotiators said they were committed to achieving as much progress as possible towards creating the world's largest economic zone before US President Barack Obama leaves office on January 20, 2017.
"In the remaining time of the Obama administration, there is still so much we can accomplish together," said US negotiator Dan Mullaney.
The trade ministers of both sides are planning to meet to discuss TTIP on November 11, which is just three days after the US presidential elections, said EU negotiator Ignacio Garcia-Bercero.
The goal is to agree on a suitable timeframe to continue the talks with the next US government, without which a successful conclusion to the negotiations seems impossible.
Garcia-Bercero refused to comment on the attitudes the US presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have toward the agreement.
Mullaney and Garcia-Bercero said that the latest round of five-day talks, in which experts from Brussels and Washington had negotiated in 20 different groups with each other, were successful.
Garcia-Bercero added that both sides have proposed consolidated texts for most of the agreement spanning 30 chapters, with the exception of only a few areas.
"I think we are making good progress," he said.