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Deal Near on Trade Agreements, Worker Aid

Published Wednesday, June 15, 2011
by Howard Schneider

The Obama administration and congressional leaders are nearing consensus on three pending trade agreements and the renewal of support for workers who have been displaced by global trade, ending a standoff that some feared would put U.S. exports at risk, said business, administration and congressional officials close to the discussions.

Free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama have become a centerpiece of the Obama administration’s efforts to boost U.S. sales overseas, a foray into trade politics by a president who, as a candidate, expressed skepticism about the benefits of prior free trade pacts. The Korea deal is expected to generate more than $10 billion in additional annual sales for U.S. companies.

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