Merkel: EU-US trade deal 'cannot be concluded now'

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By Robert Hackwill
Merkel: EU-US trade deal 'cannot be concluded now'

US President Barack Obama had wide-ranging talks with Germany’s Angela Merkel on Thursday as part of his valedictory European tour.

In two months he will be gone, but he was fulsome in his praise for the woman he called his “steadiest and most reliable ally.”

As for his successor, in answers to journalists’ questions afterwards Obama had this to say:

“I don’t expect that the president-elect will follow exactly our blueprint or our approach, but my hope is that he does not simply take a realpolitik approach and says that, ‘If we just cut some deals with Russia, even if it hurts people, or even if it violates international norms, or even if it leaves smaller countries vulnerable, or creates long-term problems in regions like Syria’ that we just do whatever’s convenient at the time.’”

Angela Merkel focused on another key issue, international trade, and the TTIP deal Trump says is bad for US businesses.

“The EU and the US are the two largest trading regions and I have always been very committed to the conclusion of a trade agreement with the USA. We have done well, the negotiations cannot be finished now, but we will stick to what we have achieved. I`m sure we`ll come back to it someday.”

Obama also participated in round-table talks with the German government where Syria and refugees were discussed, among other things. He meets the other major European leaders collectively on Friday