EU, US to push for trans-Atlantic trade deal
BRUSSELS (AP) - The European Union and the United States announced Wednesday that they have agreed to pursue talks aimed at achieving an overarching trans-Atlantic free trade deal.
The 27-country EU said such an agreement would be the biggest bilateral trade deal ever negotiated and could boost the EU's economic output by 0.5 percent - a highly desirable outcome when the EU and the US are struggling with slow growth, high unemployment and high levels of debt.
"Both of us need growth," said Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, the EU's executive arm. "And both of us have budgetary problems."
Trade between the United States and the European Union is already huge, reaching 2 billion (S$3.3 billion) a day, EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said.