President Obama has signed into law long-delayed free-trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama that are expected to significantly expand economic growth for the United States and its three partners.
“These trade agreements will significantly boost American exports, support tens of thousands of American jobs and protect labor rights, the environment and intellectual property,” the White House said in a release previewing Obama’s October 21 signing.
After inking the deals in the Oval Office, Obama stopped by a Rose Garden ceremony to meet with business and labor leaders as well as workers who will be affected by the agreements.
Congress approved the trade accords October 12 after years of negotiations. Obama’s approval brings to 20 the number of countries that have free-trade agreements with the United States.
The deals also mark a significant step toward meeting the president’s goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015 while lessening U.S. consumer demand as a driving force of the country’s economy.