The European Union and the United States on Monday launched formal negotiations on a free trade agreement, said British Prime Minister David Cameron.
"We are talking about what could be the biggest bilateral deal in history," Cameron said at the G8 summit held in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and U.S. President Barack Obama both said the first round of negotiations would take place next month.
Senior EU officials announced last Friday that EU member states had reached an agreement to grant a mandate to the European Commission for negotiating the free trade deal, but the audio-visual sector would not be in the mandate at this moment.
The partial mandate is a result of determined opposition from France which has been insisting that it will not allow the transatlantic negotiations to begin unless the European Commission agreed to take all audio-visual issues off the table in advance.
French Minister for Foreign Trade Nicole Bricq said if further opened up to the United States, the survival of its cultural sectors would be at risk, as U.S. companies would bring along "technological revolutions" that French companies would find it difficult to adapt.