July 15, 2011

President Barack Obama will soon send a free trade pact with South Korea to Congress for approval despite Republican threats to vote against it because of a retraining program for workers displaced by trade, White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley said on Thursday.

“There is no time to waste fighting politics as usual,” Daley said in a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to the U.S.-Korea Business Council. “If we do not act before the August recess, American business will suffer.”

Obama faces a showdown with Republicans over his insistence that an extension of the nearly 50-year-old Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) retraining program be passed along with the Korea pact and two other pending free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama.

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