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The Associated Press October 21, 2011, 9:59AM ET

Obama signs 3 trade deals, biggest since NAFTA

President Barack Obama has signed trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia, completing years of negotiations and fulfilling U.S. action on the biggest trade deal since the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement.

Obama signed the agreements Friday and planned to join a Rose Garden reception with business and labor leaders and workers who could potentially benefit from the new pacts. Obama also signed legislation to provide assistance to U.S. workers displaced because of the agreements.

Congress approved the agreements last week, just as South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak arrived in Washington for a state visit. Colombia's and Panama's legislatures have approved the deals. The South Korean National Assembly still has to approve the pact.

The Obama administration says the agreement will boost exports and contribute to job growth.


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