Yet Europe's trade commissioner says "we are certainly not behind schedule." Normally, he explained, a deal of this magnitude would take four to five years, "we'll cut that in two."
That would mean the deal would be finalized some time in 2015, an ambitious goal, but one that the EU insists is still on track.
(Read more: EU proposes scheme to certify mineral imports are blood-free )
One of the main sticking points, according to De Gucht, is government procurement policies. Europe is insisting on better access to the American public procurement market, which would allow European firms to bid for public contracts in the U.S., both at the federal and state levels.
"There is no low hanging fruit anymore," De Gucht said.
There's also the issue of tariffs. After previous talks, reports cited European officials expressing their frustration and disappointment at the original U.S. offer, saying it did not go far enough toward reducing tariffs on European goods.
But the U.S. has doubts of its own over Europe's commitment to fully eliminate tariffs.
According to a senior administration official, "The U.S. remains committed to the goal, written into the High Level Working Group Report and endorsed by both our leaders, of eliminating all duties on bilateral trade," referring to an original working document that laid out the blueprint for the deal, including the elimination of all tariffs.
(Read more: Europe not 'giving in' with US deal: EU trade head)
"Recent actions by the EU seem to back away from this goal, and we need to know if it stands by its commitment or not," the official said.