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Tánaiste hails historic move towards EU-US Free Trade Agreement

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 theMulti-annual Financial Framework, where the EU madesignificant 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.”