European Employers Urge Obama To Advance U.S.-EU Trade

The BusinessEurope employers’ federation called on President Barack Obama to advance trade talks with the European Union in his Feb. 12 State of the Union address.

A trade deal between the world’s largest economies would “boost economic growth and help create much-needed employment,” BusinessEurope President Juergen Thumann said in a letter released today in Brussels. He said trans-Atlantic trade ties generate $5 trillion in annual sales and would benefit from a closer alliance as they compete with fast-growing emerging economies.

The U.S. and the EU are working on a report that will lay out their strategy for the next steps on a trade deal. The EU has called for work to proceed quickly, while U.S. officials caution that talks shouldn’t start without clearer signals that a deal can overcome entrenched disagreements.

“We should try to do it on one tank of gas and avoid protracted rounds of negotiations,” U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said in Munich on Feb. 2. “The question now is whether the political will exists to resolve those longstanding differences.”

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