12 Nov 2013

EU and US resume trade talks

1:31 pm on 12 November 2013

The European Union and the United States have begun a second round of negotiations towards creating the world's biggest free-trade deal.

Talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) had been set for October, but were postponed because of the US government shutdown.

Relations have become strained after claims that the US listened to German leader Angela Merkel's mobile calls, the BBC reports.

US Secretary of State John Kerry last week urged European leaders not to allow the row to disrupt the talks.

Together the US and EU account for about $US30 trillion of annual output - almost half the world's total.

The EU says a deal could bring annual benefits of €119 billion for its 28 member states.

It is hoped an agreement could be reached by the end of 2014.