Obama calls for U.S. free trade pact with European Union

WASHINGTON Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:38pm EST

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WASHINGTON Feb 12 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Tuesday called for talks on a far-reaching free trade agreement with the 27 nations of the European Union, throwing his weight behind a deal that would encompass half the world's economic output.

"Tonight I am announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union because trade that is free and fair across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs," Obama said in the prepared text of his annual State of the Union speech to Congress.

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