April 15, 2019 / 12:48 PM / a month ago

Germany: trade talks with U.S. will not be easy, but beneficial

FILE PHOTO: German, U.S. and European Union flags fly in front of the Reichstag building ahead of the meeting between the U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, Germany, November 17, 2016. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

BERLIN (Reuters) - Trade negotiations between the European Union and the United States will not be easy, but both sides should benefit in the end, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Monday.

“The goal is to reduce industry tariffs to zero and ultimately fend off a trade conflict,” Altmaier said in a statement, calling the earlier agreed EU mandate to enter trade talks with Washington a “breakthrough”.

European Union countries gave final clearance on Monday to start formal trade talks with the United States after months of delay due to French resistance.

“The negotiations will not be easy, but we will hold them with determination, for the benefit of both sides,” Altmaier said.

Reporting by Tassilo Hummel; Editing by Riham Alkousaa

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