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UPDATE 1-Obama urges Congress to approve tax compromise

(Adds Obama quotes)

WASHINGTON, Dec 9 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday that passing a tax compromise that he reached earlier this week with Republicans would boost the U.S. economy and urged lawmakers to approve a deal.

“Every economist that I’ve talked to or I have read over the last couple of days acknowledges that this agreement would boost economic growth in the coming years and has the potential to create millions of jobs,” Obama said.

“But if this framework fails, the reverse is true,” he told a meeting of his “export council” of advisers.

“Americans would see it in smaller paychecks that would have the effect of fewer jobs. So as we meet here today ... I urge members of Congress to move forward on this essential priority,” Obama said.

Obama’s remarks were mainly about the benefits of trade and how these could help lift U.S. hiring. In addition to discussing a free trade agreement with South Korea announced last week, he also said the United States sought more economic engagement with Russia.

“I believe that Russia belongs in the WTO (World Trade Organization) and we should support all efforts to make that happen,” Obama said. “Welcoming Russia to the WTO would be good for them, but it would also be good for us and good for the global economy.”

Reporting by Alister Bull; Editing by Will Dunham

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