WASHINGTON, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama said on Saturday that latest data showed the country still needed to create more jobs, and that a new trade deal with the Republic of Korea (ROK) would help support at least 70,000 U.S. jobs.
The White House announced on Friday that the United States and the ROK had reached a new free trade agreement after a three-year stalemate on auto tariffs.
Under the agreement, tariffs on 95 percent of goods between the two countries will be lifted within five years.
Obama said that the agreement was an integral part of his administration's efforts to open foreign markets to U.S. goods and services, create jobs for American people, and achieve the goal of doubling U.S. exports over five years.
The U.S. International Trade Commission estimated that the tariff cuts alone in the U.S.-ROK trade agreement would increase exports of American goods by 10 billion U.S. dollars to 11 billion dollars, which could serve as a timely help for the struggling U.S. manufacturers.
Obama noted that this trade pact would foster the U.S. economic recovery and boost job creation in the nation, especially after the latest disappointing jobs report.
Tuesday figures from the U.S. Department of Labor showed that unemployment rate in the world's largest economy edged up to 9.8 percent in November, and nonfarm payroll employment was little changed from October, with the manufacturing sector alone slashing 13,000 jobs last month.
In 2009, bilateral trade between the United States and the ROK totaled 66.7 billion dollars. U.S. goods trade deficit with the ROK was 11 billion dollars in 2009, while the services trade surplus was 7.1 billion dollars in 2008.