The second round of a sweeping free trade pact between the United States and the European Union have been cancelled due to the US government shutdown, an EU spokesman said. "The officials on the US side can't come to Brussels," John Clancy, a spokesman for EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said. A new date has not been set for the talks, which were due to take place October 7-11 in the Belgian capital. US President Barack Obama earlier cancelled his trip to Asia because of the shutdown. The US government closed non-essential operations on Tuesday after Congress failed to agree a new budget. Since then hundreds of thousands of government employees have not been working or paid. On Friday, US trade representative Michael Froman informed the EU that financial and staffing constraints made it impossible to send a full negotiating team to Brussels. But he stressed that Washington would continue working with the EU on drawing up the deal, but would have to wait until the shutdown was over. Reacting to the US announcement, European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said the delay was unfortunate. "But let me underline that it in no way distracts us from our overall aim of achieving an ambitious trade and investment deal," he added.