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European Parliament votes against launch of EU-US trade talks

The European Parliament on Thursday rejected the EU launching trade talks with the United States. The move deals an unexpected blow to efforts by Brussels to avert a trade war with Washington. MEPs meeting in Strasbourg voted 223 against approving an EU mandate to start negotiations with the US and 198 in favor, with 37 abstentions, AFP reports. The European Parliament only has an advisory role with regard to the EU’s negotiating mandate. However, the parliament will have the final say once an agreement has been concluded.