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German minister presses for swift EU trade accord with U.S.

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By Reuters
German minister presses for swift EU trade accord with U.S.
FILE PHOTO: Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier delivers a statement after the weekly cabinet meeting in Berlin, Germany June 6, 2018. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt   -   Copyright  Axel Schmidt(Reuters)

INNSBRUCK, Austria (Reuters) – The United States and the European Union must quickly flesh out their aim of cutting trade barriers, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said ahead of an EU trade meeting on Friday.

U.S. President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker agreed in July to hold back on threatened 25-percent car tariffs while the United States and Europe talked about cutting other trade barriers.

But U.S. officials have grown frustrated at the slow pace of progress. Altmaier also pressed for results.

“We have a strong interest in the swift implementation of the joint statement by President Juncker and President Trump,” he said in a statement. “Reducing – not increasing – duties and trade restrictions must be the goal!”

(Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Angus MacSwan)