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posted: 3/10/2013 4:00 PM

Congress wants role as Obama pushes trade agenda

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  • U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk speaks at the Singapore Management University in Singapore on the subject of U.S. and Asia-Pacific trade. The Obama administration has embarked on an aggressive trade agenda that could lower trade barriers and increase exports to many of the economic giants of Asia and Europe.

      U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk speaks at the Singapore Management University in Singapore on the subject of U.S. and Asia-Pacific trade. The Obama administration has embarked on an aggressive trade agenda that could lower trade barriers and increase exports to many of the economic giants of Asia and Europe.
    ASSOCIATED PRESS

 
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is embarking on an aggressive trade agenda that could lower barriers and increase exports to Asia and Europe. To make that a reality, though, it may first have to negotiate a little closer to home -- with Congress.

The administration hopes to wrap up talks by October on the 11-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership. It would reduce duties on a wide range of goods and services in the world's most vibrant trading area.

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President Barack Obama has also announced plans to initiate free trade talks between the United States and the European Union, the world's two largest economies.

But first, he must persuade Congress to agree not to change terms of treaties once negotiators have agreed on them. Lawmakers could still reject the pacts.

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