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Obama Says U.S. Will Host First Round of Trade Talks With EU

June 17 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama said the U.S. will be the host for the first round of negotiations on a trade agreement with the European Union that will support hundreds of jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership will enhance an existing economic relationship that already is the largest in the world, Obama said in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, where leaders of the Group of Eight industrial nations opened a two-day summit.

The idea for the agreement “has been warmly received in the United States,” Obama said in a statement alongside British Prime Minister David Cameron, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Union President Herman Van Rompuy. Reaching a deal “is going to be a priority of mine and my administration.”

The European Commission estimates an agreement, which might take two years to close, would generate annual economic benefits of 119 billion euros ($159 billion) for Europe and $126 billion (95 billion euros) to the U.S.

To contact the reporters on this story: Mike Dorning in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland at mdorning@bloomberg.net; Hans Nichols in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland at hnichols2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net

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