BERLIN German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Tuesday that Berlin hoped negotiations between the European Union and the United States on a transatlantic free trade zone could begin this summer.
Speaking at a joint news conference with visiting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Westerwelle said the two sides were "serious" about a trade deal that would boost growth and jobs.
"It would bring growth and jobs. And it could do this without raising new debt. Therefore we are in full agreement that a transatlantic free trade deal needs to come. We are both serious about this," Westerwelle said.
"From the German perspective it would be desirable, if the preparatory work can be completed successfully, that negotiations between Europe and the United States begin in the summer. We see a window of opportunity."
(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed and Stephen Brown; Writing by Noah Barkin, Editing by Gareth Jones)