Failure to reach trade deal prompts disappointment, praise

The AFL-CIO said President Obama “is exactly right” to hold out for a deal that puts working people’s interests first, while Ford, a key opponent of the deal as negotiated by the Bush administration, expressed its appreciation that the U.S. demanded more concessions from South Korea.

“Ford will continue to work closely with the administration and Congress to fully open the Korean market to American-made cars and trucks,” Ford CEO Alan Mulally said.

Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch Director Lori Wallach said continued negotiations by the two sides are a good sign and that the administration has a chance to make fundamental reforms to trade policy that Obama promised during his election and that people in both parties want to see.

“Among consumer groups, unions and Democrats in Congress, there is disbelief that the Obama administration could make the severe political and policy error” of pushing an agreement similar to those backed by the Bush administration.

Obama said negotiations would continue after trade representatives failed to meet a deadline of resolving differences by his visit to Seoul.