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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 January 2007, 12:30 GMT
Merkel: 'Boost EU-US trade ties'
German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Mrs Merkel has a good relationship with President George W Bush
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she wants to see "ever-closer economic co-operation" between the 27-nation EU and the US.

She told the Financial Times the pair should harmonise their financial market regulations, patent laws and other economic mechanisms more closely.

Germany currently holds the six-month rotating presidency of the EU and year-long presidency of the G8 nations.

She said closer harmony between the EU and US would boost investment flows.


Mrs Merkel told the FT that her ambition was to create a single transatlantic market for investors.

Such a market would have common rules and standards in a number of areas, including intellectual property and financial regulation.

"We have accumulated a certain expertise about single markets in Europe, which we can apply on the transatlantic level," she said.

"With increasing globalisation, this can be a good basis for transatlantic cooperation."

'Clear advantages'

The chancellor said she would touch on this topic during talks with US President George W Bush in Washington this week.

She enjoys good personal relations with the president, and will tell him the EU and US must "not drift apart, but instead come closer together, where there are clear advantages for both sides".

Germany's relationship with the US hit stormy weather under the previous chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, but has improved since Mrs Merkel took over in 2005.

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