The U.S. and the EU are preparing to start negotiations on a free trade area, European Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht said at the Forum "European model. Challenges and Solutions" in Düsseldorf (Germany), ForUm correspondent reports.

According to the official, this will increase the mutual trade by at least $ 120 billion in five years and to increase economic growth by 0.7% in the EU and 0.3% in the U.S.. Negotiations could begin in the spring of 2013, and the entry into force in 2014, possibly.

The specialist added that in 2006, Angela Merkel voiced for a transatlantic free trade area as an alternative to general international agreement, the development of which was carried out earlier. "And then, too, it was noted that it would be in the common interest of the parties - but only now the economic crisis stimulates a constructive dialogue," De Gucht said.

He specified that the EU will insist on the widest agreement covering trade and services, and access to the state order. "At the same time it is necessary to further discuss whether to include in the contract a number of contentious issues. For example, agriculture and aviation industry," the official said.

According to him, duties are at a low level even today - an average of 3% and the main obstacle to trade are differences in the regulation and standards as well as standards for the protection of consumers.

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