Congress approved free trade agreementsWednesday with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, ending a four-year drought in the forming of new trade partnerships and giving the White House and Capitol Hill the opportunity to show they can work together to stimulate the economy and put people back to work. In rapid succession, the House and Senate voted on the three trade pacts, which the administration says could boost exports by $13 billion and support tens of thousands of American jobs. None of the votes were close, despite opposition from labor groups and other critics of free trade agreements who say they result in job losses and ignore labor rights problems in the partner countries.
The House also passed and sent to Obama for his signature a bill to extend aid to workers displaced by foreign competition. Obama had demanded that the worker aid bill be part of the trade package. Years in the making, the votes come just a day after Senate Republicans were unified in rejecting Obama’s $447 billion jobs creation initiative. The agreement with South Korea, the world’s 13th largest economy, was the biggest such deal since the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada in 1994.The United States has free trade relations with 17 nations. It could still take several months to work out the final formalities before the current agreements go into force. The South Korean parliament is expected to sign off on its agreement this month. For more information on the Trade Agreements check out the full article posted by Yahoo.com here.
- Will New Free Trade Agreements Downsize U.S. Jobs? (npr.org)
- Congress passes Colombia free trade agreement (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Obama applauds passage of 3 free-trade agreements (seattletimes.nwsource.com)