US's Kirk confident Congress will pass trade deals

WASHINGTON, April 20 Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:41am EDT

WASHINGTON, April 20 (Reuters) - U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said on Wednesday he is confident Congress will approve free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia but they are likely to be submitted in separate bills.

"It is highly unlikely to zero that they would be in one bill," Kirk told a breakfast meeting hosted by Third Way, a Washington think tank. "We know of no legislative template for an omnibus trade bill."

But the Obama administration's top trade ambassador said that the agreements were essentially ready for Congress' consideration. Kirk said the administration may be ready to start technical talks with lawmakers on the Colombia deal as early as this week, aiming for a vote after mid-June. (Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by James Dalgleish)