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Wednesday AM January 26th, 2011

House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp is calling for Congress to ratify three outstanding free trade agreements within six months. Andrew Schneider looks at the prospects for action.


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business man holding the worldCongress has blocked votes on the free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama since 2007. Susan Schwab, who negotiated the pacts as U.S. Trade Representative under President George W. Bush, says a concerted push by the Obama White House may soon break the logjam.

“I think they will find a receptive audience in the House. Not just the Republican leadership in the House, but there are also a lot of Democrats in the House who would have voted yes for these trade agreements, you know, three years ago and four years ago but were never allowed to have that vote, because the Democratic leadership stopped it.”

The Obama administration has made doubling U.S. exports by 2014 a top economic priority. Winning ratification of the FTAs will likely prove essential to meeting that goal.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew Schneider is the senior reporter for politics and government at Houston Public Media, NPR's affiliate station in Houston, Texas. In this capacity, he heads the station's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments...

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