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Obama ends standoff on Panama and Colombia pacts

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Obama administration moved Monday to complete free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, submitting the deals for Congressional approval after resolving a standoff of months with Republicans over the details of a package both sides said they favored.

The White House is depending on Republican support for the trade agreements to overcome the passionate opposition of Democrats concerned about the loss of American jobs to foreign competition.

But it agreed to submit the deals to Congress only after receiving what administration officials described as sufficient assurances that House Republicans would also approve an expansion of benefits for displaced workers. The Senate approved an expansion of the benefits program last month.

Original source: New York Times