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Obama to Sign Three Trade Agreements Friday


President Barack Obama plans to sign trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia on Friday following years of negotiations on what are being described as the most significant trade deals in 18 years.

Mr. Obama is scheduled to sign the agreements at the White House, where he will be joined by business and labor leaders as well as workers who will benefit from the deals.

The White House says Mr. Obama will underscore in his remarks that the agreements will "significantly boost American exports, support tens of thousands of American jobs and protect labor rights, the environment, and intellectual property."

The agreements initially were signed during the administration of George W. Bush, but the Obama administration worked to address concerns about Colombia's protections for labor rights, automobile provisions in the South Korean agreement, and tax and labor laws in Panama.

U.S. officials have said the deals will result in $13 billion in increased U.S. exports annually.

The U.S. Congress approved the agreements last week.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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