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US-EU pact would help competitiveness, security: Clinton

Published on Nov 30, 2012 6:44 AM

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - A trade agreement between the United States (US) and the European Union (EU) would increase prosperity and security on both sides of the Atlantic at a time of rising global challenges, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday.

"If we get this right, an agreement that opens markets and liberalizes trade would shore up our global competitiveness for the next century, creating jobs and generating hundreds of billions of dollars for our economies," Mrs Clinton said in a speech at the Brookings Institution.

Clinton's strong endorsement of the proposed pact was the latest indication that the US and the 27 nations of the European Union could launch talks on a comprehensive trade agreement early next year.

A high-level, US-EU working group led by US Trade Representative Ron Kirk and EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht has been studying the issue for the past year and is expected to formally recommend negotiations in a report to be released in December or January.

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