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In the sorry aftermath of the debt-ceiling fight, the U.S. Senate may finally be taking steps to do some good. Democratic and Republican leaders have announced they are behind a push to bring three important trade agreements to a vote.

The passage of the agreements with Colombia, South Korea and Panama will pay off for American businesses and workers. South Korea, for example, is Delaware's seventh-largest export market. The increase in chicken exports alone could boost business and employment in Delaware.

The trade agreements would reduce or eliminate tariffs on American products. President Obama has rightly said America's future lies in exporting American goods and services. That means exporting the things we make, not the jobs we have.

These treaties, long held up by partisan disagreements, would push that new agenda forward. As Delaware's Sen. Tom Carper has explained, the difference between the Democrats' outlook and the Republicans' centered on trade adjustment assistance, a way of helping any American workers displaced by the changes in trade. The overall good that the agreements will bring far outweigh the costs. However, it is appropriate to help the workers who are displaced.

Under the rules of the Senate, the minority Republicans could have held up a vote on the bills through a filibuster. Now, thanks to the efforts of Sen. Carper and others, both sides have agreed to allow the bills to come to the floor. According the Los Angeles Times, that vote should come in September. We urge Congress to pass the agreements.

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