Trade Deals, Job Help Linked in Congress

The expiration of a program that supports those left jobless by trade pacts threatens to fracture the coalition of lawmakers backing trade accords with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, according to The Wall Street Journal The Korea deal, the largest of the three, is central to the Obama administration's goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015. The Trade Adjustment Assistance program ended Saturday, potentially stopping the flow of money for services for 155,000 to 170,000 people in coming days unless Congressional Republicans can break an impasse over cost. Republicans in the House last week blocked a bill extending the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, along with the Andean Trade Preferences Act—which reduces tariffs on imports from Colombia and other Latin American nations in an effort to help stem the illegal narcotics trade.
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