Saturday, May 24, 2008

Bush for free trade pacts with Colombia, South Korea, Panama

New York (PTI): US President George W Bush has pressed Congress for free trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea and Panama, saying one of the strengths during the difficult economic times is to continue to export products.

Criticising the lawmakers for not acting to open up markets in the three countries, he admitted in an address to a group of business people, manufacturers and lobbyists that the current political climate in Washington makes it difficult for the deals to go through.

Even as Bush was advocating his policies to business persons, Democratic presidential front-runner Barack Obama joined issues with the President, promising a major fight should he send the free trade agreement with South Korea to Congress.

In a letter released by his office, Obama advised Bush to restore bipartisan cooperation on trade by withholding the agreement.

"Instead of provoking unnecessary and potentially corrosive confrontation over this agreement, your administration could make a significant contribution toward reestablishing trust with Congress and restoring bipartisan cooperation on trade by withholding the agreement," Obama said.

But Bush stuck to his guns that free trade agreements would help economy, saying that the US has an opportunity to create more exports and sell more goods and services into more markets.

Referring to the difficult economic times that the country is passing through, Bush said the one thing that the Congress could do is to pass the free trade agreements to open up more markets.

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