Arab Today, arab today us free trade deals hit new political roadblock
Last Updated : GMT 07:01:29
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

US free trade deals hit new political roadblock

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today US free trade deals hit new political roadblock

Washington - AFP

The White House and its Republican opponents in the US Congress clashed on the timing of votes to approve stalled free trade deals with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea, leaving their fate in doubt. The feud erupted even as the Senate renewed duty-free access to US markets for goods from 129 developing nations and an aid program for US workers hurt by overseas competition, which Democrats had required before passing the accords. \"Now, it\'s the president\'s turn. No more moving the goal posts. No more excuses,\" said Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. \"The time has come to send the three pending free trade agreements to Congress.\" \"We await the president\'s submission of the three trade agreements sitting on his desk so the House can consider them in tandem\" with the legislation Democrats had sought, said Boehner. \"If the president submits these agreements promptly, I\'m confident that all four bills can be signed into law by mid-October,\" the speaker said in a statement shortly after the Senate vote. The White House did not comment on the record, but US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said \"discussions continue with congressional leadership on how these bills will move through the legislative process.\" \"The trade agreements, along with Trade Adjustment Assistance, are an integral part of the president\'s plan to create jobs here at home. The president looks forward to their prompt passage,\" Kirk said in a statement. The spat came moments after the Senate voted 70-27 to approve renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences after attaching Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for US workers to the bill. The Democratic-held Senate\'s move sent the legislation to the Republican-led House of Representatives, which was expected to pass the legislation and send it to Obama to sign into law. A senior Democratic Senate aide told AFP the White House had no plans to submit the accords before the House voted because while \"no one can doubt\" Obama supports the three trade deals, Republicans have repeatedly condemned TAA. The embattled US president, whose reelection fight in November 2012 will turn on his handling of the sour economy, has said the agreements will help battle stubbornly high US unemployment of more than nine percent. The accords, negotiated and signed by Obama\'s Rep  

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