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Policy: Environment & Energy

Obama defends U.S.-Europe trade talks

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Politics,White House,Barack Obama,PennAve,Energy and Environment,Meghashyam Mali,Foreign Policy,Europe,EU,Trade

President Obama on Wednesday downplayed criticism of U.S.-European trade talks and insisted that he would not sign any deal that weakened consumer or environmental protections.

Obama said that while the public may have “legitimate questions when it comes to trade deals,” critics should not rush to judgment.

“I have fought my entire political career and as president to strengthen consumer protections. I have no intention of signing legislation that would weaken those protections,” said the president at a joint press conference at the Council of the European Union in Brussels.

“I've fought throughout my political career and am fighting as we speak to strengthen environmental protections in the United States. So I have no interest in signing a trade agreement that weakens environmental standards,” he continued.

Obama was joined by European Union President José Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy.

“I would just caution everybody to wait until they actually see what has been negotiated before they engage in all these speculations,” he added about the ongoing trade talks.

The U.S. and Europe are negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

On Capitol Hill, though, Obama's push for more trade deals has run into a roadblock from his own party, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., opposing fast-track authority for the president.

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