Obama will push labor unions to back free trade agreements
Obama giving a speech (AFP Photo/Mandel Ngan)

U.S. President Barack Obama acknowledged differences within his own Democratic Party on free trade agreements that he supports and vowed to make a strong case for trade to Congress.

Obama said free trade is "tough politics" among some lawmakers because many Americans feel their wages and income have stagnated as a result of foreign trade.

He said his argument to U.S. labor unions and environmental groups concerned about the impact of free-trade agreements is that they are accepting a status quo that is damaging to American workers.

"Part of my argument to Democrats is: don't fight the last war," Obama told the Business Roundtable, referring to past battles over free trade.

(Reporting By Steve Holland, Jeff Mason and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Susan Heavey)