The United States and the European Union on Monday (November 11) started a second round of negotiations towards the world's biggest free-trade agreement.

The talks, which were originally scheduled for early October but then postponed due to the 16-day US budget shutdown, are expected to run until Friday (November 15).

EU and U.S. officials are eager to agree on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal by the end of 2014 to create a market of 800 million people encompassing half the world's economy, but negotiations have got off to a difficult start.

The two sides launched talks in July, but they were immediately overshadowed by U.S. spying reports made public by fugitive former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden.

The October talks were then scrapped by the U.S. government's partial shutdown because of deep political divisions in Washington over budgets.

Negotiators hope now to get down to nitty gritty issues such as how to make it easier for companies to do business on both sides of the Atlantic, free up trading in farm products and integrate EU and U.S. markets.

Presented by Adam Justice

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