Merkel urges Europeans to speed up TTIP trade talks with U.S.

Sun Nov 16, 2014 6:40am EST
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SYDNEY - German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged European nations on Sunday to speed up their negotiations with the United States over a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement between the U.S. and EU.

Speaking a news conference in Sydney following the Group of 20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia, Merkel said the EU should negotiate in a "speedy and determined" way with the U.S. to complete the trade deal.

Merkel's remarks follow comments by British Prime Minister David Cameron, who spoke out at the G20 Summit against opponents of the trade deal, where Cameron, Merkel, U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande met for talks on the TTIP.

The TTIP, which has been strongly opposed by trade unions, would eliminate all tariff barriers between the U.S. and EU nations.

Merkel declined to reveal the contents of a meeting she had earlier on Sunday with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the crisis in Ukraine, saying the discussion was confidential.

(Reporting by Gernot Heller; Editing by Eric Meijer)

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at a news conference in Auckland November 14, 2014. REUTERS/Nigel Marple