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Wilbur Ross 'Open to Resuming' Talks on Big Trade Deal With Europe

Wilbur Ross 'Open to Resuming' Talks on Big Trade Deal With Europe
(AP/Evan Vucci)

By    |   Wednesday, 31 May 2017 08:21 AM

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross reportedly is open to continuing talks on a proposed trade pact with the European Union.

"It's no mistake that, while we withdrew from TPP" — the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact with Pacific Rim nations — "we did not withdraw from TTIP," Ross told CNBC.

Talks around the proposed Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership were put on hold after Trump's election last year.

"The EU is one of our largest trading partners, and any negotiations legally must be conducted at the EU level and not with individual nations," Ross said.

"Thus, it makes sense to continue TTIP negotiations and to work towards a solution that increases overall trade while reducing our trade deficit."

The U.S. trade deficit with the EU in 2016 stood at $146.3 billion, CNBC reported, citing U.S. Census Bureau. That deficit is $32.1 billion so far this year, CNBC reported.

Ross' comments come less than a week after his meeting with German Economics Minister Brigitte Zypries, who told a German newspaper, "It is not likely the U.S. will resume negotiations over TTIP," CNBC reported.

CNBC said it "has obtained copies of trade deficit data that was given to Ross by the Coalition for Prosperous America, an anti-free trade think tank, which purports to show the trade deficit the United States has with Germany and with the EU overall."

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-apec-vietnam-tpp-idUSKCN18H012

Meanwhile, earlier this month ministers from Mexico and New Zealand said the remaining countries of the TPP deal have agreed to explore options for continuing with it despite Trump's apparent decision to ditch it.

The so-called TPP-11 countries held their highest level talks on the deal since the U.S. pullout on the sidelines of a meeting of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries in Hanoi, Vietnam, Reuters reported. 

"We're focused on how we can move ahead with the 11 countries," New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay told reporters after the meeting. "The countries are going to put forward proposals on how to take TPP forward in November."

Mexico's economy minister Ildefonso Guajardo echoed his comments.

(Newsmax wires services contributed to this report).

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Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross reportedly is open to continuing talks on a proposed trade pact with the European Union.
Wilbur Ross, talks, Trade, Deal, Europe, tpp
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2017-21-31
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 08:21 AM
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