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EU's Malmstroem attempts to revive US trade talks

EU commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem gives a press conference on December 4, 2013 at the EU Headquarters in BrusselsEuropean Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem attempted on Tuesday to breath new life into transatlantic trade talks that have been hobbled by opposition to one of the deal’s most controversial components. European and US negotiators have been in talks for more than a year to create the world’s biggest free-trade and investment agreement, the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). “The challenges facing Europe today are serious and TTIP is a serious response to those challenges,” Malmstroem said in a European parliament debate. Criticism has focused on the so-called investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS, which would allow firms to sue national governments if they feel that local laws — such as health and safety regulations — violate the trade deal and threaten their investments.

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