While low wages can make country's exports more competitive, they also hurt consumption in rich states.
In addition to strengthening its internal markets, Barroso said the EU should try to improve its trade relations with non-European countries, including the United States.
"The United States is our largest economic partner," Barroso said, adding that trade between the EU and the U.S. was worth almost €450 billion last year and that they had invested more than €1 trillion in each others' economies.
"Any further gains, including through reducing non-tariff barriers, would be significant for both sides," Barroso said. "We are exploring ways in which to broaden and deepen these ties."
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