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Tánaiste hails historic move towards EU-US Free Trade Agreement

13.02.2013, 07:43 GMT

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D. has this morning welcomed the announcement by President Obama that the United States will launch talks on a comprehensive free trade agreement with the European Union.

President Obama made the announcement during his annual State of the Union address last night, calling it a “comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership”.

Welcoming the news, the Tánaiste said:

“Securing a negotiating mandate for a comprehensive free-trade agreement with the United States was a top priority for the Government when we established the jobs and growth agenda for the Irish Presidency of the EU.

Coming on the back of last week’s agreement on the Multi-annual Financial Framework, where the EU made significant progress on its own governance, this now opens up enormous untapped potential for a new phase in Europe’s economic relations with the US.

I anticipate that these negotiations will begin during the Irish Presidency, and we will of course make the most of Ireland’s close relationship with the US to get talks off to a good start.

I look forward to engaging in constructive dialogue with our US colleagues as we begin working on this together.”

Read the full text of the final report of the EU-US High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth.

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