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Shutdown of the U.S. government stops talks with EU

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Staff writer ▼ | October 8, 2013
US shutdownThe United States has put negotiations for a free trade deal with the EU on ice because of a partial shutdown of the U.S. government, the Obama administration said.

US Trade Representative Michael Froman called European Union Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht to say that US officials could not travel to Brussels next week for talks due to the shutdown, Froman's office, known as the USTR, said in a statement.

Whole swaths of America's federal government have been shut down since last Tuesday morning due to an impasse in Congress over funding for the new fiscal year.

"USTR will work with the (European) Commission to craft an alternative work plan that can begin once the US government shutdown ends," the agency said.

Washington and the EU were due to hold a second round of negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which would be the world's biggest free-trade deal. The United States and the EU already are the world's largest trade and investment partners but are struggling with high unemployment, particularly in Europe.

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