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Remarks With Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, President José Manuel Durão Barroso of the European Commission, and President Herman Van Rompuy of the European Council in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland

June 17, 2013

[At this point, Prime Minister Cameron and President Barroso made brief remarks, concluding as follows.]

Prime Minister Cameron. Well, thank you very much, José Manuel. President Obama—Barack.

President Obama. Thank you very much, David. And good afternoon. It is wonderful to be here in Lough Erne. And thank you so much to the people of Northern Ireland for their warm hospitality. And, Prime Minister Cameron, thank you for all the outstanding arrangements.

Among the things we'll discuss here are promoting new growth and jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. And I'm pleased to join these leaders to announce the launch of negotiations on a new trade agreement that will help us do just that—the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, also known as T-TIP.

I want to thank not only the gentlemen on this stage, but also Presidents Hollande, Chancellor Merkel, Prime Minister Letta, and Taoiseach Kenny. We just had an excellent meeting. And I'm proud to say that America will have the opportunity to host the first round of negotiations next month in Washington.

As has already been mentioned, the U.S.-EU relationship is the largest in the world. It makes up nearly half of global GDP. We trade about a trillion dollars in goods and services each year. We invest nearly $4 trillion in each other's economies. And all that supports around 13 million jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.

And this potentially groundbreaking partnership would deepen those ties. It would increase exports, decrease barriers to trade and investment. As part of broader growth strategies in both our economies, it would support hundreds of thousands of jobs on both sides of the ocean.

So I'm pleased to hear that this negotiation enjoys the support not only of the countries that are here today, but also the broader EU membership. I can tell you that it's been warmly received in the United States as well, both in our Congress and in our business community.

And that broad support, on both sides of the Atlantic, will help us work through some of the tough issues that have already been mentioned. There are going to be sensitivities on both sides. There are going to be politics on both sides. But if we can look beyond the narrow concerns to stay focused on the big picture—the economic and strategic importance of this partnership—I'm hopeful we can achieve the kind of high-standard, comprehensive agreement that the global trading system is looking to us to develop.

America and Europe have done extraordinary things together before. And I believe we can forge an economic alliance as strong as our diplomatic and security alliances, which, of course, have been the most powerful in history, and by doing that, we can also strengthen the multilateral trading system.

So this Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is going to be a priority of mine and my administration. It is important that we get it right, and that means resisting the temptation to downsize our ambitions or avoid tough issues just for the sake of getting a deal. And then make sure also—it's important that we also make sure that it's part of an overall plan to do what it takes to promote growth and jobs. Trade is critical, but it is not alone a silver bullet; it has to be part of a comprehensive strategy that we pursue on both sides of the Atlantic. That's what our people deserve.

I very much look forward to working with my fellow leaders to make it happen. We're going to give a strong mandate to our negotiators, but occasionally, I suspect, we're going to have to intervene and break through some logjams. Nevertheless, I'm confident that we can get it done.

So thank you very much.

Prime Minister Cameron. Thank you, Barack. And thank you very much for that. Now, we're going to hear from the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy. Herman.

[President Van Rompuy made brief remarks, concluding as follows.]

President Van Rompuy. We will find these solutions not only because we know the great benefit it will bring, not only because we share the same rules-based approach at home and abroad in these matters, but also because trade is one vital part of our overall relationship. It will link our transatlantic destinies even closer together.

The longer the negotiations, therefore, stand for our continued common commitment to engage with each other in order to engage with the world. The EU and its member states are ready to engage and look forward to the new trade landscape we will shape together.

Thank you.

Prime Minister Cameron. Thank you very much, Herman. We'll be now welcoming the other guests to the G-8, and we'll be taking questions at the end of the G-8 at the end of our discussions.

Thank you very much, indeed.

NOTE: The President spoke at 3:23 p.m. at Lough Erne Resort. In his remarks, he referred to President Francois Hollande of France; Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany; Prime Minister Enrico Letta of Italy; and Prime Minister Enda Kenny of Ireland. The transcript released by the Office of the Press Secretary also included the remarks of Prime Minister Cameron, President Barroso, and President Van Rompuy. A portion of these remarks could not be verified because the audio was incomplete.

Barack Obama, Remarks With Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, President José Manuel Durão Barroso of the European Commission, and President Herman Van Rompuy of the European Council in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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