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Obama,Merkel Stress Benefits of EU-U.S. Trade Deal | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel make speeches after signing the guest book in Kruen, Germany June 7, 2015. REUTERS/Matthias Schrader/Pool

German and U.S. employers, workers, consumers and farmers would definitely benefit from the free trade deal being negotiated between the European Union and the United States, U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

“An agreement that links our economies more closely and that builds on rules that comply with our shared values would help us to grow over the coming decades and to remain competitive at the global level,” Obama and Merkel wrote in a joint guest article for German magazine WirtschaftsWoche.

Their comments come after the election of U.S. Republican Donald Trump, who made attacks on international trade deals a cornerstone of his campaign, saying they have cost U.S. jobs.

On the other hand, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hoped that his presence at a Marrakesh conference to decide on the finer points of a historic agreement to stave off climate change would be a victory lap.

Instead, he found himself having to address the uncertainty created by the election of Trump, and what his presidency might mean for the U.S. commitment to the 2015 Paris agreement to cut global greenhouse gas emissions.

In a speech on Wednesday, Kerry urged countries to treat the earth’s changing climate as an urgent threat, citing melting glaciers, stronger storms, and record-breaking droughts.

“While I can’t stand here and speculate about what policies our president-elect will pursue, I will tell you this: In the time that I have spent in public life, one of the things I’ve learned is that some issues look a little bit different when you’re actually in office compared to when you’re on the campaign trail,” he said.

Trump has called climate change a hoax, and said he would rip up the Paris deal, halt any U.S. taxpayer funds for U.N. global warming programs, and revive the U.S. coal sector.

If he follows through on his promises, he would undo the legacy of Obama, who has made climate change a policy priority and called the rising temperatures and other fallout from climate change “terrifying”.

Kerry spoke of his trip last week to Antarctica, where he met scientists alarmed at the trends.