German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the proposal of the U.S. and European Union (EU) to resume talks on a free trade agreement after U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Tuesday said that Washington remains open to a free trade pact with the EU.
Ross addressed an economic symposium in Berlin via video-link and told them U.S. President Donald Trump was receptive for talks on what is known on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership ( TTIP) to resume, reports the DW.
His remarks were followed with Merkel telling lawmakers that "we should resume work on a trade agreement between the EU and the United States," adding, "the multitude of problems that arise can only be dealt within structured trade negotiations with each other."
Last month, Trump expressed frustration with Germany, following reports that its trade surplus over the U.S. last year amounted to some $65 billion.
During last month's NATO summit in Brussels, Trump is reported to have told leaders, "The Germans are bad, very bad. Look at the millions of cars they sell in the U.S. Terrible. We'll stop that."
Meanwhile, Merkel, in her address, stressed that the U.S. was a direct benefactor of the German trade, saying that German investments in the U.S. were a major job creator for the country.
Initial talks on creating a free trade area on both sides of the Atlantic had been ongoing for years, but came to a halt following Trump's election to the White House as he campaigned on a protectionist platform and a repeated mantra of "America First."