EU believes free trade deal with U.S. won't be completed this year: source

October 19, 2016 6:11 AM EDT

A pedestrian walks past graffiti that reads, "No TTIP", in Brussels, Belgium, July 27, 2015. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

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BERLIN (Reuters) - The European Commission believes it is unlikely that negotiations with the United States over a free trade deal will be completed under the current U.S. administration, a Commission source told Reuters on the condition of anonymity on Wednesday.

It wants to preserve the interim status reached in negotiations between the European Union and the U.S. on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the source added.

This would allow the Commission to continue negotiating with the next U.S. administration after President Barack Obama's term expires in January.

The source said there has been some progress on some issues, which the Commission wants to preserve, instead of starting from scratch with a new U.S. administration.

The U.S ambassador to Germany, John B. Emerson, told a German broadcaster on Tuesday that the two sides were close to bridging differences on many sticking points and that Obama would make a final push for a deal after the U.S. election on Nov. 8.

(This version of the story clarifies the lede to show the reference was to negotiations with current White House)

(Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Caroline Copley)

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