Obama speech will test US free-trade commitment

President Obama will use his State of the Union address today to emphasise domestic programmes and executive actions that require minimum support from the Congress.

Several key White House initiatives stalled in Congress last year, including an immigration revamp, an increase in the minimum wage, gun-control legislation and economic proposals.

Instead, the President is focusing on areas where he can make a difference, such as a White House pledge with leading corporates who have agreed not to discriminate against the long-term unemployed when making hiring decisions.


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