European Parliament fails to offer direction on US trade talks

The European Parliament Thursday failed to issue recommendations on trade talks with the United States, following a tight vote.

A resolution on talks with Washington was defeated by 223 votes against 198, with 37 abstentions.

The resolution had called on EU countries not to endorse negotiating mandates that authorize the European Commission to start talks with Washington. Opponents of negotiations won key amendments, but lost the final vote.

The failure of the final resolution means that Parliament issues no opinion on the negotiations.

It is now up to EU countries to approve the negotiating mandates. EU trade chief Cecilia Malmström said last week that negotiations with the U.S. could begin “within some weeks.”

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