Senators back ambitious trade agenda with Europe

A study by the European Center for International Political Economy has shown that eliminating already low tariffs on U.S.-EU trade in goods could boost the combined economic growth by $180 billion over five years.

The European Union said on Thursday that the eurozone will likely experience a mild recession this year. 

The lawmakers urged leaders trade leaders including U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht "to quickly formulate ambitious proposals" to nix barriers. 

"Strengthening our economic ties will create new opportunities for American businesses and workers," they wrote. 

"As we take steps to create the conditions for sustained future economic growth, we should make increased trade and investment with the European Union a priority.

The letter was signed by Democrats Kerry, Mark Warner (Va.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Tom Carper (Del.), Ron Wyden (Ore.) and Bill Nelson (Fla.) and Republicans Portman, Mike Johanns (Neb.), Scott Brown (Mass.), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), John Boozman (Ark.), Roger Wicker (Miss.), Pat Roberts (Kan.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Bob Corker (Tenn.), Dan Coats (Ind.) and Marco Rubio (Fla.).