Brownfield, MO 05-11-07 Congress, White House reach deal on free trade pacts by Peter Shinn The White House and Congressional leaders have reached a deal that will advance pending free trade agreements (FTAs) with Peru, Colombia, Panama and South Korea. The White House apparently agreed to insert binding language in the FTAs on labor standards and environmental protection in exchange for Congressional votes on the trade pacts, which are now expected to pass Congress. The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) praised the compromise. In a release, the NPPC pointed out that analysis by Iowa State University ag economist Dr. Dermot Hayes suggests the combination of all those trade agreements, when fully implemented, will raise the value of U.S. hogs, in total, by $12.66 a head on a live basis. U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab also touted the deal with Congressional Democrats. She called the agreement to advance the FTAs "an historic opportunity to restore the bipartisan consensus on trade..." And she suggested the deal on the pending FTAs may only be the beginning of a new, cooperative relationship between the White House and Congress on trade. That, Schwab said in a statement, would bode well for renewal of President Trade Promotion Authority, which is slated to expire at the end of next month. "The new trade policy template also opens the way for bipartisan work on Trade Promotion Authority," said Schwab.