France agreed on Friday to support the European Union in negotiating a free-trade deal with the United States, EU officials said, giving the go-ahead for talks on what could be the world's most ambitious trade agreement.
"A consensus on the mandate was reached," said an EU official who was present during the talks in Luxembourg.
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EU ministers reached the deal after 12 hours of talks, accepting a French demand to leave Internet, film, TV and digital services out of the negotiations that are due to start in July, although they left open the possibility of including them at a later stage.
(Reporting by Robin Emmott, Philip Blenkinsop, Ethan Bilby)