Merkel says others will set benchmarks if no EU, U.S. trade deal

BERLIN Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:53am GMT

German Chancellor Angela Merkel smiles during a news conference after her talks with Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg in Oslo February 20, 2013. REUTERS/Thomas Winje Oijord/NTB Scanpix/Pool

German Chancellor Angela Merkel smiles during a news conference after her talks with Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg in Oslo February 20, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Thomas Winje Oijord/NTB Scanpix/Pool

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BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that if Europe and the United States did not seal a transatlantic deal setting common standards for trade and technology, other parts of the world with different values would set the benchmarks instead.

"We all know especially in terms of future technologies that our ability to set the decisive standards will determine our economic success," she told the Bundestag lower house of parliament, referring to EU-U.S. talks due to start by June with the ambitious aim of getting a trade pact by the end of 2014.

Merkel added that "if we don't do it, others in the world will do it and they will do so according to their labour and production conditions, which are in some cases a far cry from our own values".

(Reporting by Stephen Brown, Madeline Chambers and Annika Breidthardt)

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