US President Barack Obama on Monday sent long-stalled free trade deals with Colombia, Panama and South Korea to the congress and urged lawmakers there to approve them "without delay."
"These agreements will support tens of thousands of jobs across the country for workers making products stamped with three proud words: Made in America," Obama said in a statement.
The House of Representatives, which must act first on the accords before they can go to the Senate, will likely approve them next week, according to Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's office.
"They will be a top priority for the House," Republican House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement that charged Obama's year-long delay in submitting them to the congress "was unacceptably long and likely cost jobs."
Boehner said the accords would pass "in tandem" with Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), a program that provides financial help to workers hurt by overseas competition, in accordance with a Democratic demand.
The accords, negotiated and signed by Obama's Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, had run into Democratic opposition early in Obama's term.
The Colombia accord stalled on US concerns over violence against labor activists, the Panama agreement faced hurdles tied to alleged money laundering and worries about opening South Korea's automobile market held up that pact.
"We've worked hard to strengthen these agreements to get the best possible deal for American workers and businesses, and I call on Congress to pass them without delay, along with the bipartisan agreement on Trade Adjustment Assistance," said Obama.
"These three trade agreements will support American jobs and help create opportunities to expand for American businesses. I look forward to seeing them passed," said Boehner.