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German chancellor champions trans-Atlantic trade

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February 21, 2013 04:34 AM EST | AP


BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel says a proposed trans-Atlantic trade agreement between the European Union and the United States has Germany's strong backing, and would have global impact.

The proposal has garnered support on both continents, with President Barack Obama saying earlier this month that the U.S. believes "trade that is free and fair across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs."

Merkel told Parliament Thursday that she hoped negotiations this year would produce an agreement that would not only help commerce, but also create such a powerful trade zone that the U.S. and EU together could set industry standards and norms.

She says "if we don't, then others in the world will do it according to their work and production standards, which are at times far removed from our values."