WASHINGTON (AP) — A half-century-old program that helps workers who lose their jobs to foreign trade holds the key to whether Congress may finally approve three long-delayed free trade agreements viewed by both the Obama White House and congressional Republicans as a way to invigorate the economy and create jobs.

It's a classic Washington trade-off.

Many Democrats don't like the trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama but are open to votes if Congress extends expired provisions of the Kennedy-era Trade Adjustment Assistance program, or TAA. Republicans are cool to TAA but won't object as long as the trade deals are completed.

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