Congress passes three free-trade deals | Pakistan Today

Congress passes three free-trade deals

The US Congress on Wednesday approved long-delayed trade pacts with South Korea, Colombia and Panama that are expected to lift exports by about $13 billion a year and give US employment a boost.
Republicans and Democrats joined together in the House of Representatives and the Senate to pass the pacts, which now go to President Barack Obama to sign into law. Obama – who sent the three agreements to Capitol Hill nine days ago, four to five years after they were negotiated – welcomed Congress’ passage of the deals as “a major win for American workers and businesses.”
“Tonight’s vote, with bipartisan support, will significantly boost exports that bear the proud label ‘Made in America,’ support tens of thousands of good-paying American jobs and protect labor rights, the environment and intellectual property,” Obama said in a statement.
US farm and manufactured goods exports are expected to rise under the three agreements as tariffs are phased out. The pacts also open new markets for US companies in service sectors such as banking, insurance and express delivery.
“These free trade agreements will give our economy a much-needed shot in the arm and create tens of thousands of American jobs,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat. Critics like Senator Sherrod Brown said the deals would harm US employment, though the Obama administration and other proponents believe they will support tens of thousands jobs.

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