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EU leaders will ask ministers to clear negotiating mandates for U.S. trade talks

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EU leaders will ask ministers to clear negotiating mandates for U.S. trade talks
FILE PHOTO - U.S. and European Union flags are pictured during the visit of Vice President Mike Pence to the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium February 20, 2017. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir   -   Copyright  Francois Lenoir(Reuters)
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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders will ask their trade ministers on Friday to quickly approve negotiating mandates for the European Commission to start formal trade talks with the United States, draft conclusions showed.

“The necessary steps should be taken for the rapid implementation of the U.S.-EU Joint Statement of 25 July 2018,” the draft conclusions, seen by Reuters, said.

The EU has been in talks on trade with Washington since July 2018, when U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to hold off new punitive tariffs while the two sides worked on ways to improve economic relations.

(Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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