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US-Europe trade talks start after bumpy launch

July 8, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. and Europe have begun talks on a sweeping free trade pact after some bumps in the launch over American secret surveillance programs and protection of European culture.

New U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman urged the negotiating teams starting work on Monday to avoid delays and “resist the temptation to downsize” the ambitious agreement.

European Union Trade Commission Karel De Gucht told reporters in Geneva the deal is good for Europe and will result in jobs and add to growth amid an economic crisis.

Froman acknowledged there will be significant challenges to getting the deal done. As negotiations began, some of the most divisive issues in trade relations appeared as intractable as ever — deep differences over agriculture, food safety, climate change legislation, financial deregulation and intellectual property enforcement.

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