Johanns blasts Obama for slow-walking trade pacts

Obama last week reiterated his desire to move on the pending trade pact with South Korea. Similar calls came from the White House last month. 

"These words will ring hollow until we see some action," Johanns said. "I urge the president to send Congress all three pending agreements to ratify so we can get our exports moving." 

Aside from the South Korean pact, trade agreements with Panama and Colombia await congressional approval. 

The European Union recently approved its pact with South Korea, the world's twelfth largest economy. 

The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates the agreement would add between $10 billion and $12 billion annually to U.S. gross domestic product. 

Unions have argued that ratifying any of the pending trade pacts would help companies move operations offshore and cost workers their jobs. 

Democratic leaders are attempting to address this and other issues before moving forward on the agreements, which has been a multi-year process. 

If the White House advances the Korean pact, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka does not expect it will ruffle many feathers.  

"There could be [problems, but] probably not," he told MSNBC. "This president has actually enforced the laws. If you look at what he did with domestic tires, China was cheating, we caught them cheating, they [the White House] imposed a tariff on them. And then a year after that tariff, domestic production has gone up 15 percent. ... Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been created because he's enforcing the laws."