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Tánaiste hails Obama commitment to free trade agreement

In his State of the Union address last night, Obama said the US will launch talks on an agreement with the EU.

President Barack Obama gestures as he gives his State of the Union address.
President Barack Obama gestures as he gives his State of the Union address.
Image: Charles Dharapak/AP

TÁNAISTE EAMON GILMORE has welcomed United States President Barack Obama’s announcement that the US will launch talks on a comprehensive free trade agreement with the European Union.

Obama made the comments in his annual State of the Union speech in the early hours of this morning and called the agreement a “comprehensive transatlantic trade and investment partnership”.

Gilmore said that negotiating such an agreement was a top priority for the Irish government when it established the jobs and growth agenda for the EU Presidency.

“Coming on the back of last week’s agreement on the Multi-annual Financial Framework, where the EU made significant progress on its own governance, this now opens up enormous untapped potential for a new phase in Europe’s economic relations with the US,” he said.

“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.”

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