UPDATE 3-Obama says more trade deals needed to help create jobs

Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:25pm EDT
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* Obama says "strong trade deals" help to boost jobs

* White House to formally notify Congress soon on EU talks

* U.S. hopes to finish Trans-Pacific trade talks this year

By Doug Palmer

WASHINGTON, March 12 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that forging new trade deals with Europe and 10 countries in the Asia-Pacific region would be an important part of his second-term agenda to spur economic growth and create jobs.

"What we know is that a lot of the growth, a lot of the new jobs that we've seen during the course of this recovery have been export driven," Obama said at a meeting of the President's Export Council, which brings together corporate leaders and members of Obama's Cabinet to discuss trade issues.

"The question now becomes how do we sustain this momentum. Part of it is making sure we get in place strong trade deals."

The statement reflected how far Obama has moved on trade since early in his administration, when he frustrated many business leaders for not moving quickly to enact free-trade pacts with Colombia, Panama and South Korea left over from Republican President George W. Bush's administration.

Obama submitted those deals to Congress for approval more than two and a half years into his first term and only after making changes to shore up support among fellow Democrats.   Continued...