US commerce secretary backs free trade deal with Europe


BERLIN (AP) — U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is saying that the United States and the European Union should have a free trade agreement.

President Donald Trump has withdrawn the U.S. from an agreement with Asian nations, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but the fate of a proposed trade deal with the EU has been less clear.

Ross on Tuesday told a conference in Berlin organized by a group linked to German Angela Merkel's party that "we as major trading partners of each other should have a free trade agreement."

He said, "We believe that we have in Europe a good counterparty."

Ross addressed the event by video link after cancelling a planned trip to Berlin on short notice.