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US starts clock for beginning EU trade talks

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March 20, 2013 05:59 PM EST | AP


WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is formally notifying Congress of its intention to negotiate a free trade deal with the European Union. The notification on Wednesday starts the clock on a 90-day waiting period required by law before the U.S. could launch the talks.

Obama announced the talks between the world's largest trading partners in annual State of the Union speech last month. If completed, the deal would be the biggest bilateral trade pact ever negotiated. The momentum comes as the EU and the U.S. are both struggling with slow growth, high unemployment and high levels of debt.