A top ally of President Barack Obama predicted Thursday that Congress will support a free trade deal with South Korea, but opponents hoped the failure to meet a key deadline would lead to a rethink.
Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak said they needed more time to negotiate the sweeping pact, despite intense talks aiming to finalize it before the Group of 20 summit in Seoul.
With Obama pledging to work "tirelessly" to complete the agreement, Senator John Kerry voiced confidence that the pact will enjoy support in the next Congress, in which the rival Republican Party will hold more seats.
"I continue to hope for its prompt submission to Congress within the next few months," said Kerry, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
"In spite of today's polarized political environment, bipartisan cooperation on KORUS is attainable in the next Congress," he said, referring to the trade pact.
"New export opportunities in South Korea for US companies can generate good-paying American jobs and contribute to our economic recovery," said Kerry, a Democrat from Massachusetts.
But many Democrats are deeply skeptical of the deal, along with labor unions and automakers Ford and Chrysler.
Ironically, the Republicans' midterm election victory likely improves Obama's chances of winning approval of the deal, which would be the largest for the United States since the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994.
The Obama administration has been pressing South Korea to give greater access to US cars and beef.
While South Korean automakers such as Hyundai have won success in the United States, US cars have a minuscule presence in Asia's fourth largest economy. Many South Koreans are suspicious of US beef due to fears of mad cow disease.
Consumer advocacy group Public Citizen said the deal, initially negotiated under president George W. Bush, may create US jobs in low-paying areas such as meat processing while costing jobs in the more lucrative auto industry.
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Comment: Folks this isn't capitalism, this fascism plane and simple. This is an agreement made by US National Government wonks and a Socialist President at the behest of global corporations that will decide what goods will be manufactured and where; and guess what, bend over America because you are about to get raped.
This is about leveling the playing field and the only way the playing field can be leveled is for the US to lose what little we has left. This is not laissez-fair, this is a global command economy, that's Soviet style.The poor of the world cannot advance through corporate fascism; only through freedom. That's what made our nation the most prosperous nation in all of history --- it's freedom!
I'll keep writing about this until the day I die, but this is what happens when we removed federalism from the governmental structure the founders created by enacting the 17th Amendment. This is what happens when the states are removed from the Federal Governement. We have lost all control of the power that we the people meter out to the government.
Do you think any of the governors or state legislative bodies would go along with this maddness, which will only sink the states' econmomies deeper into the hole of despair? Do you think the states will willingly go along with a National Government mandated recession or depression made as result of some fascist treaty. Hell no, and you can bet that if Massachusetts got wind of this prior to 1913 they'd have Kerry standing on the "carpet" in Boston, not asking for, but demanding his resignation.
Folks the only way we are going to protect our sovereignty as a nation is to protect the sovereignty of the states. By repealing the 17th Amendment we will restore the rightful place of the states, return their sovereignty and protect our nation's.