German, Uruguayan leaders hope to advance EU-Mercosur talks

The leaders of Germany and Uruguay say they hope to push forward talks on a free-trade deal between the European Union and South America's Mercosur group amid uncertainty about the new U.S. administration's approach to trade.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel noted Wednesday that political changes in Brazil and Argentina — which make up Mercosur along with Paraguay and Uruguay — have revived chances of the trade pact. Mercosur suspended Venezuela in December.

Merkel said after meeting Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez: "We as the European Union, if we perhaps don't advance or advance more slowly with a view to the United States — we will have to see — of course will continue to negotiate other trade agreements quickly."

She cited talks with Japan, India and Australia as well as Mercosur.