Germany's Merkel renews call for speedy US-Europe trade deal

BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel is renewing her call for quick progress toward a U.S.-Europe trade deal.

Visiting Germany in April, President Barack Obama said “the time is now” for the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. He warned that if negotiations aren’t completed this year, the deal could be delayed much longer because of political transitions in the U.S. and Europe.

Merkel said Wednesday her conservative party stands firmly behind the proposed deal. She added: “We are convinced that we must move forward quickly.”

The proposed trade pact is regarded with suspicion by many in Germany and other EU nations. German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, who leads the centre-left Social Democrats, recently said it was wrong for Merkel to create pressure by saying negotiations could be completed this year.