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Obama pledges to double US exports

President Barack Obama pledged on Wednesday to double US exports in five years and boost commerce with South Korea, Panama and Colombia, but stopped short of urging Congress to pass trade pacts.

world Updated: Jan 28, 2010 08:32 IST

President Barack Obama pledged on Wednesday to double US exports in five years and boost commerce with South Korea, Panama and Colombia, but stopped short of urging Congress to pass trade pacts.

"Tonight, we set a new goal: We will double our exports over the next five years, an increase that will support two million jobs in America," Obama said in the annual State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress.

Obama told legislators he was setting up an initiative to help farmers and small businesses increase their exports to meet the goals.

Obama said the United States also "will strengthen our trade relations in Asia and with key partners like South Korea, Panama, and Colombia" but did not explicitly call for Congress to ratify trade treaties with the three countries.