U.S. President Barack Obama walks down the stairs upon his arrival at the airport in Hannover, northern Germany, Sunday, April 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
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For me, that goes against free trade," Gabriel, a Social Democrat who is also Germany's deputy chancellor, told business newspaper Handelsblatt.His comments came a day after tens of thousands of people marched against the U.S.-EU free trade deal through the streets of Hanover, where Obama and Merkel are to open what is billed as the world's largest industrial technology fair on Sunday night.During Obama's seven years in office, the Democrat U.S. president and the conservative German chancellor have grown closer and Obama sees her, among European leaders at least, as first among equals.Obama's two-day visit kicks off with talks with Merkel and a joint press conference.Despite the diplomatic niceties, the relationship between Obama and Merkel has also been rocky.Officials admit U.S.-German relations hit a low when it emerged that the U.S. government had been tapping Merkel's phone.That has helped make the German public among the most skeptical in Europe of Obama's leadership.
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