The European Union and the US will begin formal talks on a free-trade agreement, paving the way for the biggest trade deal in history.
Steve Davies from the Institute of Economic Affairs said the economic crisis in Europe has injected more urgency into the talks.
"It's happening now because there has been seriously depressed growth in the EU, and this will be good news for economic growth," he said.
"On the American side, the critical factor is that Obama is now in his second term, so he doesn't have the protectionist pressures from US businesses to worry about."
Mr Davies said agriculture was likely to be particular area of contention, along with intellectual property, which could lead to political wranglings on both sides of the Atlantic.
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