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Transatlantic FTA benefits both sides: Obama


20:41, June 19, 2013

BERLIN, June 19 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday said in Berlin that he believed the proposed transatlantic free trade agreement would benefit both America and Europe.

"The U.S.-EU relationship is already the largest in the world economically," said Obama in a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, after a meeting of the two leaders in the Chancellor's office.

He said he shared the conviction with Merkel that a successful FTA negotiation will strengthen economy on both sides of the Atlantic, create jobs, imporve effeciency, improve productivity and competitiveness around the world, adding that he believed a "standard for free trade" would also be raised around the world and that would "benefit everyone".

Obama arrived on Berlin Tuesday evening after attending the G8 summit in Northern Ireland, where the leaders agreed to launch next month the negotiation of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a comprehensive free trade agreement that would cover a zone of 800 million inhabitants.

A study result released days before Obama's visit by German thinktank Bertelsmann Foundation showed that in the scenario of abolishing both tariff and non-tariff barriers, real gross domestic product per capita would significantly increase and millions of jobs would be created. In America, the long-term real gross domestic product per capita would grow by 13.4 percent, while the 27 EU member states would see an average growth of five percent.

If tariffs and non-tariff trade barriers were comprehensively abolished, German trade with the U.S. would grow by as much as 93 percent in both terms of exports and imports, though its trade with traditional partners would be negatively affected, according to the study.

"Overall, Germany is our largest trading partners in the EU, so we got profound stake in each other's success," said Obama.

Earlier, Obama was greeted by German president Joachim Gauck in his presidential palace Bellvue. The U.S. president was scheduled also on Wednesday to address nearly 6000 vetted guests in the emblematic Brandenburg Gate in the center of Berlin.

"In both conversations with Chancellor Merkel and earlier with your president, I reminded them that from our perspective, the relationship with Europe remains the cornerstone of our freedom and our security, that Europe is our partner in almost everything that we do." Obama said.

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