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U.S. Chamber: Europe in 'slow decline'

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

Europe's once vibrant economy is slowly declining, robbing American companies of business and prompting calls for a new trade deal to revive the economic health of the continent.

"Europe is in a slow decline," said Thomas Donohue, president of the Chamber. "We need to see them get stronger."

Donohue, addressing the Chamber's board of directors Thursday, said that the organization is pushing for new trade deals to open markets in Europe for U.S. products. A new deal, he said, could spark an economic revival in Europe. Without it, the European economy could slowly fade, choking America's largest trading partner.

"Its not going to go like that," he said later to reporters. "They are in a recession already. A lot of people over there, over here, are saying it could be eight to 10 years. Let's get them the hell out of it so we can sell them some more stuff."

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