Business, Finance & Economics

Obama to sign trade deals with Panama, Colombia, South Korea


US President Barack Obama



President Barack Obama announced today he plans to sign trade deals with South Korea, Panama and Columbia on Friday.

This will end years of negotiations and complete U.S. action on the biggest deal since the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993, the Washington Post reports.

According to an announcement released by the White House, President Obama will sign the agreement before making remarks in the Rose Garden, discussing how these trade agreements will boost American exports, support American jobs and protect labor rights. The president will be joined by business and labor leaders who will benefit from this bill.

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These treaties were discussed between 2006 and 2007 but were held up in Congress since then, the Associated Press reports. The trade agreements could lead to a $12 billion increase in U.S. exports, with 90 percent of it to South Korea, according to official projections, AP reports.

A renewal of the Trade Adjustment Assistance for workers in the Oval Office will also be signed, which aids works hurt by foreign competition, the White House announced.

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The president spent his first two years in office trying to expand Democratic support for these deals, Bloomberg Business Week reports. He negotiated new terms for auto tariffs from South Korea that won over the United Auto Workers union, a tax-information exchange with Panama and labor-rights assurances from Colombia, Bloomberg Business Week reports.