Germany's Merkel vows not to give up on US free trade deal

Addressing a crowd of high-ranking business officials in the grandiose surroundings of Berlin's concert hall on the historic Gendarmenmarkt Square, Merkel also said she would push for talks over a free-trade agreement between the European Union and the United States to be resumed.

The findings of an investigation ordered by US President Donald Trump's administration into whether foreign-made steel imports pose a risk to US national security are expected to be released in the coming days.

Speaking to business leaders in Berlin, Merkel acknowledged that the "economic cohesion of the eurozone member states leaves something to be desired". "Given the new American administration that's not easy but nonetheless we need to make the effort", she added.

The chancellor has criticized several of Trump's policy decisions including his project to build a wall against immigrants on the U.S.'s southern border.

On the other side, Trump has criticized Berlin for its export-driven economy and for accepting in a large number of refugees in 2015.

"For me, it is above all about the EU27 proceeding together and listening carefully to Britain's wishes and expectations", Merkel told a news conference after meeting Romanian President Klaus Iohannis. Accordingly, prospects for a planned US-EU deal, technically known as the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, also look bleak.

Far-left activists have threatened attacks ahead of the G-20 summit of major world leaders that Germany is hosting in Hamburg July 7-8.

Merkel, who has been in office since 2005, is seeking a hard-to-achieve fourth term in fall.

  • Leroy Wright