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Oct 12, 2011 7:41 PM by Matt Stafford

House approves free trade pact with South Korea

WASHINGTON (AP) - The House has approved a free trade agreement with South Korea, the world's 13th largest economy and the seventh largest trading partner with the U.S.

The South Korea vote Wednesday came after the House also passed free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama. The Senate was to vote on all three accords later Wednesday.

The two countries had almost $80 billion in trade last year, with Korea commanding a $10 billion surplus. The Obama administration predicts that by lowering tariffs on U.S. goods sold in Korea the agreement will nearly erase that trade gap and support 70,000 American jobs.

The agreement was signed during the last Bush presidency, but President Barack Obama did not submit it to Congress until after renegotiating to get better access for U.S. autos in Korea.

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