U.S. Congress to Work Quickly On Trade Deals

Posted October 4th, 2011 at 8:30 pm (UTC-5)
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The U.S. State Department says it hopes Congress will pass the U.S.-South Korea free trade bill before South Korean President Lee Myung-bak arrives in Washington next week.

A department spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, told reporters Tuesday the free trade bill, and two others with Colombia and Panama, are good for America. She said lawmakers should act quickly.

Nuland said the U.S.-South Korea agreement alone is expected to create 70,000 U.S. jobs and could be worth between $10 billion and $12 billion in new U.S. exports.

President Barack Obama sent the bills to Congress on Monday.

South Korean President Lee arrives in Washington for a summit with Mr. Obama next week.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell will visit Seoul later this week for talks with the country’s senior officials ahead of President Lee’s visit to Washington.

Campbell leaves for a week-long Asian tour Wednesday. In addition to South Korea, he will make stops in Japan, Brunei, Thailand and China.