Merkel urges big push on EU-U.S. free trade deal

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German Chancellor Merkel is pictured on TV camera monitor as she addresses the BundestagGermany's Angela Merkel made a strong plea on Thursday for the European Union and the United States to complete their talks about forming a new transatlantic free trade area. "I feel totally committed to this deal and really want to implement it," the chancellor told a conference of business supporters of her conservative party in Berlin, warning them about the "false arguments" used by the deal's detractors. Merkel's frustration at the talks' slow progress was echoed by former U.S. trade representative Susan Schwab, who told the conference in Berlin that opponents of the deal should be aware of the potential cost of turning it down. "Sometimes, for those of us who are pro-trade activists, we are frustrated that things are not moving more quickly," said Schwab, adding: "If you want to protect French movies and television, then it should cost you." EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht told the conference that TTIP could boost economic growth and create jobs in Europe "by providing new opportunities for companies to grow and become more efficient" and lowering the cost of imports such as energy.

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