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

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and German Chancellor Angela Merkel walk to attend a news conference after their talks at the German government's guesthouse in Meseberg some 60 km north of Berlin, Germany, May 4, 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 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