Breakthrough Agreement On Free Trade Deals Expected Within Days

Congress Capitol

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The Obama administration is expected to announce in the next couple days that it has finalised a series of “trade-adjustment assistance” measures expected to boost congressional support for a series of stalled free-trade deals with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama, Politico reports.The measures would provide benefits to American workers whose jobs are sent overseas due to international trade. Finalization of the assistance measures has long been considered a prerequisite for winning congressional approval of the trade pacts.

Many House Democrats and their union backers have opposed the trade deals, especially with Colombia, fearing a lack of significant protection in the deal for Colombian workers’ and union rights.

The Colombian labour movement is the target of a decades-long campaign of often-violent intimidation, according to the Henning centre for International labour Relations at UC-Berkeley.

The administration hopes the trade deals will boost U.S. sales overseas at a time when they are sluggish at home. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has lobbied vigorously for their passage.

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