Trade negotiations between the U.S. and the European Union could help restart global World Trade Organization talks, but the concessions each party would need to make would be politically unpopular at home, making such a deal difficult to complete.
When the WTO's Doha round of global trade talks failed, many blamed the U.S. for its unwillingness to cut trade-distorting farm subsidies, while the EU was faulted for failing to adequately open its market.
London's Financial Times newspaper speaks of a proposed agreement that would include "politically explosive concessions," and reported that the U.S. was mulling a "conditional" deal to lower the cap on trade-distorting subsidies from the current $19.1 billion to $17 billion. Meanwhile, the Times says the EU was considering a deal that would reduce tariffs on agricultural goods by 54%.
However, Sean Spicer, spokesman for U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab, told Feedstuffs that "we are making progress, but there is no deal at hand." He also says that the Times' numbers are incorrect.