Congress set to vote on trade agreements

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President Barack Obama this week submitted to Congress free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.

“The series of trade agreements I am submitting to Congress...will make it easier for American companies to sell their products in South Korea, Colombia and Panama and provide a major boost to our exports,” Obama said in a statement. “These agreements will support tens of thousands of jobs across the country for workers making products stamped with three proud words: Made in America.”

House Speaker John Boehner said he had “long called” on the president to send Congress all three agreements.

“We will quickly begin the required process to consider these bills and intend to vote on them consecutively and in tandem with Senate-passed TAA legislation,” he said in a statement. “Expanding markets for American small businesses and manufacturers is a critical component of the Republican Plan for America’s Job Creators. These three trade agreements will support American jobs and help create opportunities to expand for American businesses.”

The move was supported by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, who said opening new markets will help the U.S. economy recover.

"American exports support 10 million jobs and these pending trade agreements will create even more,” she said in a statement. “The tariff reductions agreed to by South Korea alone will boost U.S. exports by $10 billion to $12 billion annually.”

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