HANNOVER, Germany (AP) — The Latest on President Barack Obama’s visit to Germany (all times local):
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has welcomed U.S. President Barack Obama with military honors ahead of their bilateral talks.
Merkel has received Obama at Herrenhausen Palace, a rebuilt version of the 19th-century summer home of the royal house of Hannover. The palace was destroyed during World War II and reopened in 2013.
Merkel and Obama are due to meet for an hour before holding a joint news conference.
Following the news conference, they will together open the city’s annual industrial fair, at which the United States is the featured country this year.
President Barack Obama has arrived in Germany to mount a two-day push to sell his trans-Atlantic trade pact.
Obama landed in the northern city of Hannover on Sunday afternoon. He’s leading a delegation of American business leaders attending the Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial technology trade fair.
Obama is slated to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel before they attend the fair opening.
The president is expected to make the case for the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or T-TIP.
President Barack Obama says it could take a decade for Britain to negotiate a new trade agreement with the United States if it leaves the European Union.
In a BBC interview, Obama said “it could be five years from now, 10 years from now before we were able to actually get something done.”
He said that “the U.K. would not be able to negotiate something with the United States faster than the EU.”
Obama flies to Germany Sunday after a U.K. visit during which he angered supporters of an EU exit by making it clear the United States wants Britain to stay in.
He said Friday that Britain would go to the “back of the queue” for a trade deal if it votes to leave in a June 23 referendum.
Germany’s vice chancellor is urging the United States to budge in negotiations on a free trade deal with Europe and warns that the hoped-for accord could fail if Washington doesn’t give ground.
President Barack Obama is expected in Germany Sunday, hoping to build momentum for the so-called Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP. The German government is also keen to clinch the deal.
However, Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel was quoted Sunday as telling the Handelsblatt newspaper that “the Americans want to stick to their ‘buy American’ idea. We can’t accept that.”
He also complained that the U.S. doesn’t want to open public tenders to companies from Europe.
Gabriel said: “If the Americans stick to this position, we don’t need a free trade agreement. Then TTIP will fail.”
President Barack Obama is hoping to build momentum for a trade deal between the U.S. and Europe during a two-day visit to Germany.
But Obama knows a tough sell awaits him, particularly in Germany. He arrives there Sunday and opposition to the agreement is fierce.
Thousands swarmed the streets Saturday in Hannover, on the eve of Obama’s arrival, to protest the agreement. In November, more than 100,000 protested the deal in Berlin.
Proponents argue that it would boost business at a time of global economic uncertainty. Critics fear the erosion of consumer protections and environmental standards.
Negotiators want to finalize key parts of the deal before the year ends.
Obama is also meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday to discuss the Islamic State group and other issues.
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