‘‘The German government is convinced that such an agreement would be a valuable contribution toward more growth and jobs on both sides of the Atlantic,’’ said Steffen Seibert, a government spokesman.
France, too, welcomed the announcement, saying the stakes were huge. ‘‘I want a helpful agreement, a source of opportunities for our companies in the U.S. market and a creator of jobs on French soil,’’ said Nicole Bricq, the French minister for external trade.
BusinessEurope, a federation of European business organizations, also welcomed the announcement. Juergen R. Thumann, the organization’s president, said an agreement would ‘‘significantly boost economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic, strengthen the competitiveness of our main industries and restore trans-Atlantic leadership in trade.’’
Claude Barfield, a trade scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, supported the idea of a U.S.-EU trade pact but said the Obama administration should finish ongoing talks on a Trans-Pacific trade agreement with several Asian nations first. Otherwise, China will push an alternative trade pact that excludes the United States.
Chris Rugaber in Washington D.C. contributed to this report.