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White House erects new barrier to trade pacts with Panama, Colombia and Korea

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The White House and congressional Republicans are in a political standoff over passage of trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.

Obama administration officials issued an ultimatum, saying they wouldn't submit the trade deals for congressional approval until the GOP agrees to renew the expired Trade Adjustment Assistance program, for workers idled by foreign competition.

"We will not submit the [three trade pacts] without an agreement" on renewing the trade adjustment program, US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said.

Original source: Wall Street Journal