Merkel says working for U.S.-EU trade deal this year

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during her visit to the French secondary school Lycee Francais in Berlin, Germany, May 3, 2016. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

MESEBERG, Germany (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday she would do everything she could to complete this year a sweeping free trade deal that is being negotiated between the European Union and the United States.

Merkel said that during talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday she had “made clear that we will do everything possible to negotiate the transatlantic agreement this year”.

Supporters say the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would deliver more than $100 billion (69 billion pounds) of economic gains on both sides of the Atlantic.

But a survey published last month by the Bertelsmann Foundation showed waning support for a TTIP deal in both Germany and the United States after three years of negotiations.

Reporting by Gernot Heller; Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Dominic Evans