( dpa ) - President George W Bush called on Congress to pass free-trade deals with Colombia and South Korea, telling legislators that the growth of the sputtering United States economy was dependent on selling goods abroad.
"Our economic growth increasingly depends on our ability to sell American goods, crops and services all over the world. So we are working to break down barriers to trade and investment wherever we can," Bush said in his annual State of the Union address. Bush said that approving deals with Colombia, Panama and South Korea would "level the playing field" and give US exporters access to almost 100 million new consumers.
"Many products from these nations now enter America duty free, yet many of our products face steep tariffs in their markets," Bush said.
The US Senate has approved a free-trade agreement with Peru but has yet to give the go-ahead for the other three deals.
Bush said that the United States was working toward an agreement by the end of 2008 in the Doha round of global trade talks.