Business Roundtable: Trade would increase hiring of US workers

Economic IndicatorsAssociated 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.

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.

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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.