US trade rep: Euro struggles weigh on trade talks

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PARIS (AP) — The U.S. trade chief says Europe's debt struggles and resulting market turmoil are weighing on global talks about loosening trade barriers.

Trade Representative Ron Kirk told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday that "in the world in which we are all connected now, in which our businesses, our finances, our trade is connected — all of us are going to be impacted by what happens" in Europe.

"It's in all of our minds," he said on the sidelines of trade meetings at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris.

He argued that freer trade, including bilateral trade agreements between the U.S. and European Union, could be a solution, "a tool you can utilize to spur economic growth and job creation."

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