EU negotiators seek leaders' backing for US trade talks

BRUSSELS – The European Union negotiators who have been locked in protracted talks over free trade with the United States are asking the EU’s 28 leaders to publicly back them.

The European Commission and Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem have been under intense pressure from protesters in many member states, especially Germany and France, to not cave in to free-market demands from Washington.

They will ask the leaders to issue a public statement backing the talks when they meet June 28-29.

EU spokesman Daniel Rosario said Monday that “we have to make sure that we are all rowing in the same direction.”

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, known as TTIP, seeks to tighten economic ties between the two sides that together have over 800 million people and half the world’s economic output.