Columbus Dispatch: Brown: No Free Trade Agreements Until Congress Extends Trade Adjustment Assistance

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and 40 other senators weighed in on a dispute over pending trade agreements between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans Monday. They sent a letter to Obama urging him not to submit free trade agreements to Congress until it completes a long-term extension of Trade Adjustment Assistance.

Obama, through his trade representative, has already said he does not intend to submit trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea to Congress until Congress extends Trade Adjustment Assistance. The federal program aims to help retrain workers who have lost their jobs as a result of foreign trade. Republicans who oppose the extension have expressed concern about the cost.

Since the most recent form of Trade Adjustment Assistance was implemented in May 2009, some 435,000 workers have been certified to receive TAA services, according to Brown’s office.

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