European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso Saturday expressed his delight that EU trade ministers on Friday gave the green light for launch of negotiations on trade and investment with the United States.
"These negotiations can be a game changer. We are already each other's biggest trade and investment partners. Strengthening this relationship will bring more jobs, more growth to Europe and the United States," he said in a video message.
The potential economic gains for the EU are estimated at around 120 billion euro a year, he noted.
"Beyond the economic benefits, this is also about our place in the world. An agreement will forge a shared future based on our common values and our common commitments to open trade," added the head of the EU's executive body.
The European Parliament also welcomed the launch of trade negotiations with the US and said it will monitor closely the entire process, which should be as transparent as possible, the Parliament's International Trade Committee chair Vital Moreira, said in a statement.
He noted that that the "Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership" between the EU and the US has great potential for economic growth and job creation, but warned that the "Parliament will only give its final consent to the deal if it is in the best interest of our businesses, workers and consumers."