EU envoy touts trade deal in New Year's message

The European Union's envoy to the United States made passage of a massive trade deal between the world's two largest economies a priority in his New Year's video message.

“We need to focus on what we can do to help our citizens to find jobs, what we can do to promote economic growth, and what we can do to help the world be a better place,” said Ambassador to the United States João Vale de Almeida. “On the economic front, we are concentrated on a big project: The Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership — the biggest free trade area in the world, capable of creating more jobs for American citizens and European citizens.”

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Vale de Almeida highlighted what he called foreign policy successes achieved by the U.S. and the EU in 2013, notably the nuclear deal with Iran. He said the two partners have a “responsibility” to tackle global challenges such as terrorism, nuclear proliferation and climate change in 2014.

The Obama administration has also made the trade deal with Europe a top foreign policy priority of the president's second term amid stalled multilateral talks at the World Trade Organization. The parties remain far apart on touchy subjects such as support for agriculture and cultural products, however.

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