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Trade Groups Say U.S. Falling Behind
Date: 3/28/2011
Written By: Washington Times, By Tim Devaney

Excerpt: The White House's better-late-than-never approach to three trade agreements doesn't cut it for trade groups that say American businesses are quickly losing ground to global competitors. Within months, the Obama administration could complete free trade deals with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. But conservatives argue they are five years overdue and the delays paved the way for the growing economies in China, Brazil, Argentina and Canada to cut their own deals with these nations and leapfrog the United States. "Time is of the essence," said Chuck Dittrich, vice president of the National Foreign Trade Council. "Once a trade agreement with another country kicks in, then products from that country become cheaper, and even cheap enough that they replace us and American companies lose out." To make matters worse, even if these trade deals pass and U.S. companies lower their prices, it won't necessarily convince customers in these countries to do business with them because they may choose to stick with the supplier they already found, said Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the Council of the Americas.