Congress passes free-trade deals with 3 nations
The White House and Republicans say trade deals with South Korea, Colombia and Panama will create U.S. jobs.
October 12th, 2011
09:29 PM ET

Congress passes free-trade deals with 3 nations

[Updated at 9:28 p.m.] Congress voted Wednesday on a bipartisan basis to pass free-trade bills with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.

President Barack Obama, who dined Thursday at a Korean restaurant with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and is to welcome him Thursday on a state visit to the White House, sent the trade deals to Congress last week.

The White House, Republicans and big business groups have said the deals would create jobs in the United States. The deals could spur $13 billion annually in new exports and "support tens of thousands of jobs," a senior administration official has said.

In a statement issued by the Office of the Press Secretary, Obama called the agreements "a major win" for the nation. "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," he said, promising to sign the bills.

In a separate statement, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the agreements "will make it easier for American companies to sell their products to South Korea, Colombia and Panama, which will create jobs here at home."

Union groups and some Democrats have opposed the bills, expressing doubt that they would create jobs.

The U.S. agriculture industry has been calling for the free-trade agreement, which could open new markets for beef, wheat and soybeans. The U.S. auto industry is also watching, as the deal with South Korea would mean a decline in tariffs aimed squarely at Detroit automakers.

House Republicans have voiced support for the deals.

"These three trade agreements will support American jobs and help create opportunities to expand for American businesses," Speaker John Boehner said last week in a statement.

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Filed under: Colombia • Panama • Politics • South Korea
soundoff (127 Responses)
  1. Roy

    That's just freaking great. THREE more countries to flood out stores with foreign goods, taking away more Amrican jobs.

    October 12, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • b

      we're doomed.

      October 12, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Decima

      Try reading the article before you respond to it.

      October 12, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      go you really believe everything you read nafta was supposed to create jobs too

      October 12, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • b

      I I did read it. What I took from it is we now have 3 more countries with cheap labor that will flood our country with garbage. That and Hillary is C U Next Tuesday. What did you take from it?

      October 12, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Badly-Bent

    Here is a sobering quote by Abe Lincoln:

    "I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."

    - U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864

    October 12, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      I told you yesterday, that is NOT Abraham Lincoln. You should do a little research before you copy and paste.

      October 12, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Badly-Bent

      Joe, You are right it is disputed as to whether he actually wrote it. I will not use it anymore for that reason.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Starstuff

    Say goodbye to your job... if you still have one.

    October 12, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. b

    Hey OWS, this is what you should be protesting.

    October 12, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Badly-Bent

    This is more than a disgrace. Anyone who voted for this should be up on treason charges.

    October 12, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. K3Citizen

    Don't we already have a free drug trade agreement with Colombia?

    October 12, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Badly-Bent

      Yes! Now the cartels become untouchable? thank you WTO.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. joe

    seems these crooked politicans can't agree on anything except these policies that destroy america. treason

    October 12, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. none of the above

    So – more free trade? NAFTA and CAFTA bankrupted North Carolina of textiles, tobacco and furniture – the three major industries of the state. Entire towns and cities have become miniature Detroits. The big mills have been torn down of scrap leaving vast stretches of empty blighted land. The only thing the state has imported has been illegal immigrants. Not exactly a fair trade.

    October 12, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. citizen

    Every country rightly wants a larger share of the worlds resources.
    What this means for your personal economy is you will earn less. And this in a deflationary environment.
    The good news is median income for someone with a bachelors degree is$83,000.

    October 12, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Badly-Bent

      I have a masters degree and I'm about 20K under that. I earn a lot for this area (Florida). Maybe in the major cities?

      October 12, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. banasy©

    Create jobs, my ass.

    October 12, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy©

    Obama sent the bills to Congress last week, and they voted and passed them already, huh?

    Must have been a great deal of...ahem...incentive for both parties to have passed so quickly...

    Throwing down the BS flag...

    October 12, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bimbo the Birthday Clown

    Why would you take the South Korean President to a Korean restaurant? He eats that stuff all the time. Take him out for Greek or Italian food. Or to Denny's for chicken fried steak.

    October 12, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bimbo the Birthday Clown

    The votes are in. Everyone hates free trade. Now beer and sports highlights.

    October 12, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. chrissy

    lmao @ k3citizen good one! and @ banasy, ive been wonderin that same thing all day 🙁 IF in fact, the bill they passed is the one proposed by Obama then hes sure not the man i thought he was!

    October 12, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. the prophet

    What is wrong with our leaders free trade means less manufacturing here at home.... Colombia ho yea what can they possibly trade other then drugs and ho yeah did i mention drugs come on the US is digging it's own grave.

    October 13, 2011 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
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