- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 21, 2013

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the time has come for the United States to join a trade agreement with the European Union.

President Obama agrees.

A month ago, he affirmed the U.S. believes “trade that is free and fair across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs,” according to a report by The Associated Press.

On Thursday, Ms. Merkel expressed optimism at the chance of an international trade pact achieving reality before the end of this year, AP said.

One plus of the pact: The U.S. and EU would be able to set trade standards for the rest of the world, she suggested, according to AP.

“If we don’t, then others in the world will do it according to their work and production standards, which are at times far removed from our values,” she said in the AP report.