(Filed Under Financial and General Interest News). Longstanding measures to permit consideration of pending free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, plus three expired trade programs, was delayed last week due to lawmakers’ ongoing debt policy talks.
While both Republicans and Democrats are generally supporting free-trade movements, there are many details that must be resolved. President Obama has stated he will only support the agreements if retraining for workers and a renewal of the Trade Adjustment Assistance program — a service that provides benefits to trade workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own — is involved. This negotiation has met with resistance from some lawmakers.
The length of the debt discussions coupled with a quickly approaching Congressional recess in August means it is likely that the trade measures will not be considered until September.
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