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Obama to submit three trade agreements to Congress

US President Barack Obama today said that he would soon present three controversial trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Columbia to the Congress for consideration.

world Updated: Jul 08, 2010 11:24 IST

US President Barack Obama on Wednesday said that he would soon present three controversial trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Columbia to the Congress for consideration.

Obama made an announcement in this regard when he laid down his plan to double the US export in the next five years, for which he announced a reconstituted President's Export Council to be headed by Boeing CEO Ursula Burns.

Hoping to move forward on new agreements with some of America's key partners, Obama said he has instructed US Trade Representative Ron Kirk to begin discussions to help resolve outstanding issues with the pending Korean Free Trade Agreement before his visit to South Korea in November.

"It's an agreement that will create new jobs and opportunity for people in both of our countries," he said.

"We also want to deepen and broaden our relations with Panama and Colombia. So we're working to resolve outstanding issues with the free trade agreements with those key partners, and we're focused on submitting them as soon as possible for congressional consideration," he said.

"We'll make sure each agreement we pursue doesn't just advance the interests of our businesses, workers, and farmers, but also upholds our most cherished values," Obama said.

Democrats are divided over all three deals, but are particularly hesitant about moving forward with the Colombia agreement. However, the South Korean deal has more support.

It is considered as the most important of the agreements for the US economy, but is opposed by labor groups and Ford.

Obama said his administration is making sure that the access of the world market by US companies is free and fair.

"The United States offers some of the world's lowest barriers to trade, and when we give other countries the privilege of that free and fair access, we expect it in return. Where American producers face unfair trade practices, we'll use every tool at our disposal to enforce trade agreements," he said.

"Last week, for example, the WTO ruled in favor of the United States on a case that found European governments were subsidizing planes that Airbus manufactures. That practice was unfair and hurt American workers. This ruling will help keep the playing field level and boost American jobs," he said.

Obama said his goal to double America's exports of goods and services around the world in five years will boost economic growth and support millions of American jobs in a manner that is deficit-friendly.