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October 8, 2022

EU and US free-trade talks launched

BRUSSELS – The European Union and the US will begin formal talks on a free-trade agreement, paving the way for the biggest trade deal in history, the BBC reports. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso made the joint announcement following President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. A deal would bring down trading barriers between the two biggest economies in the world.
EU-US trade is worth around 455bn euros a year. Mr Obama announced US support for talks as part of his annual address to Congress on Tuesday, saying a free-trade deal would “boost American exports, support American jobs and level the playing field in the growing markets of Asia”.
In a joint statement, US and EU leaders said trade between the US and EU already supported millions of jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. “We are committed to making this relationship an even stronger driver of our prosperity,” the statement said. It is not clear how long the talks will take, but similar trade deals have involved years of negotiations. EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said the deal would focus on bringing down remaining tariffs and other barriers to trade, and standardise technical regulations, standards and certifications.

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