Germany: trade talks with U.S. will not be easy, but beneficial

FILE PHOTO: German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Berlin, Germany, April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

BERLIN (Reuters) - Trade negotiations between the European Union and the United States will not be easy, but both sides should benefit in the end, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Monday.

“The goal is to reduce industry tariffs to zero and ultimately fend off a trade conflict,” Altmaier said in a statement, calling the earlier agreed EU mandate to enter trade talks with Washington a “breakthrough”.

European Union countries gave final clearance on Monday to start formal trade talks with the United States after months of delay due to French resistance.

“The negotiations will not be easy, but we will hold them with determination, for the benefit of both sides,” Altmaier said.

Reporting by Tassilo Hummel; Editing by Riham Alkousaa