Thousands protest trade deal in Germany before Obama visit


Thousands of demonstrators have turned out in the German city of Hannover to protest a planned U.S.-Europe free trade agreement, a day before President Barack Obama arrives.

Police said Saturday that more than 20,000 people gathered for the demonstration.

Many in Germany regard the planned Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, with suspicion. Protesters Saturday carried placards with slogans such as "Yes We Can — Stop TTIP!"

Joern Pollex | Getty Images

Proponents argue that the agreement would boost business at a time of global economic uncertainty, but critics worry that it would erode consumer protection and environmental standards.

Officials in Washington and Europe are trying to clinch key parts of the TTIP deal before the end of the year. Obama is due in Hannover on Sunday to open an annual industrial fair.

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