Business Roundtable: Trade would increase hiring of US workers

Economic Indicators Associated Press

Top business executives are pressing Congress to give President Barack Obama greater authority to negotiate international trade deals. In a report by the lobbying group Business Roundtable, the CEOs say their expectations for the economy have improved but that business needs more confidence to increase hiring.

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The group's survey of 120 executives found that more than half of the CEOs said trade would allow them to hire more U.S. workers.

Forging a 12-nation trade deal with Pacific Rim counties is one of Obama's top priorities this year. Most Republicans support broadening trade. But a majority of Demcorats say such agreements put the United States at a disadvantage. Obama wants power to negotiate deals that Congress can only approve or reject but not amend.