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Back home after icy Trump meeting, Merkel calls for open markets

20 March 2017, 04:29 | Taylor George

Thomson Reuters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel sorts her notes during a joint news conference with U.S. President Donald Trump in the East Room of the White House in Washington U.S

Abe also endorsed a free trade agreement with the European Union, and highlighted the economic and industrial cooperation agreements already signed by the governments of both countries.

German chancellor, Angela Merkel and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe at the CeBIT 2017 tech fair in Hannover, Germany, on March 19, 2017. "And so we will swiftly advance ongoing negotiations - such as with Japan".

He added: "Of course to do so it will be necessary to have rules that are fair and can stand up to democratic appraisal". Merkel welcomed his comments, saying: "It's very, very good that Japan says we want a free trade agreement, we want it soon because that could be the right statement and Germany would love to be a driving force behind this".

The two leaders' appeal follows the G20 finance ministers' meeting and the German Chancellor's summit with the U.S. President in Washington on Friday.

"Of course, the views are different and this will not change through one meeting", Merkel said of differences with the U.S. administration on trade issues that surfaced during her talks with Trump in Washington last week.

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"This means that we should have similar legislation in all European states to whatever extent is possible", Merkel said in her video blog.

Trump's complaint on trade reflects comments by the head of his National Trade Council, Peter Navarro, who has denounced Germany's trade surplus, accusing Europe's biggest economy of exploiting its position within the euro area to gain advantage. Trump said he did not believe in isolationism but that trade policy should be fairer. Merkel stressed that Germany is strongly in favor of an open and connected world.

Talks on an EU-Japan accord began in 2013 with the goal of lowering barriers to trade and investment on both sides.

Germany is ready to "be the motor" for completing the deal as a signal that "we want free, open markets", Merkel said Sunday.



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