Focus on: TTIP, food & farming
Brussels and Washington want to deepen a relationship that accounts for a third of global trade, and ending the EU import ban on live pigs and beef washed in lactic acid is meant to show the Europeans are serious about a deal.
Like putting an astronaut on Mars, a US-EU bilateral transatlantic trade deal has been a long-held dream of policy makers that seemed always out of reach. Yet Brussels and Washington are edging closer to the launch pad.
EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht has voiced optimism that negotiations for a comprehensive free trade agreement between the EU and the United States could start at the beginning of next year.