US President Barack Obama declared Tuesday that the United States and Europe will launch talks on what would be the world’s largest free trade zone.
“Tonight, I am announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union — because trade that is free and fair across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs,” Obama said in his State of the Union speech.
The move answered mounting calls from Europe to pursue a grand trade pact to spur growth on both sides of the Atlantic — covering a region where two-way trade hit $646 billion last year.
Proposed years ago, the US-EU trade pact idea has been revived recently as both sides of the Atlantic seek avenues for growth and job creation for their weak economies.
On February 1, German Chancellor Angela Merkel greeted Vice President Joe Biden in Berlin with a call for movement on free trade talks.
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