"Let's put it this way: there's still hope," said Jyrki Katainen, European Commission Vice President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness when commenting on Monday about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, which has for now been abandoned in the wake of Donald Trump's election.
Speaking to Reuters news agency in Berlin, Mr. Katainen said it was noteworthy that Mr. Trump had attacked a U.S. trade deal with Asia and the North American Free Trade Agreement during his election campaign, but had not taken aim at TTIP specifically.
E.U. officials remained committed to strong transatlantic ties and would contact the new U.S. trade negotiator for further discussions once he was in office, the former Finnish prime minister said.
"It's still very important for the U.S. but also for European manufacturers, especially small- and medium-sized businesses," Mr. Katainen said.
Only recently, Peter Navarro, the head of Mr. Trump's new National Trade Council, claimed that Germany was one of the main hurdles to a U.S.-E.U. trade deal and that talks over TTIP were dead. Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected the remarks.