Germany's Merkel: US trade deal 'absolutely' in EU interest

BERLIN (AP) " German Chancellor Angela Merkel has defended a planned trade deal between the U.S. and the European Union as "absolutely in Europe's interest."

Rejecting an industry group's criticism that politicians aren't doing enough to support it, Merkel said Thursday that the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, is "absolutely right and important, and absolutely in Europe's interest."

On Monday, the head of Germany's BDI industrial lobby group, Ulrich Grillo, accused the government of limiting its backing for TTIP to "formal statements of support."

European officials have come under intense pressure from opponents in many countries, especially Germany and France, to not cave in to free-market demands from Washington.

The Obama administration is pushing to reach a deal this year on TTIP.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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