U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday he would ensure that a planned EU-U.S. trade deal did not weaken existing consumer or environmental standards, as some critics fear.
Obama told a news conference that the U.S. and EU publics had legitimate questions on whether a trade deal would benefit their countries over the long term and whether "hard-won victories" on consumer or environmental protection would be preserved.
"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. I have fought throughout my political career and am fighting as we speak to strengthen environmental protection for the United States so I have no interest in signing a trade agreement that weakens environmental standards," he said.