Republicans block Senate panel meeting on trade

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 30, 2011 3:39 PM
Republicans block Senate panel meeting on trade

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans boycotted a meeting of the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday to deny the panel a needed quorum to consider free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.

Senator Orrin Hatch, the panel's top Republican, said his party objected to U.S. worker assistance tied to the South Korean trade agreement. President Barack Obama is seeking Senate approval of the three long-stalled trade pacts.

(Reporting by Donna Smith and Doug Palmer)