Free-trade critics picked up more than two dozen House seats and at least six Senate seats in the Nov. 4 election, a shift that could further endanger proposed free-trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.

"This could be the most trade-skeptical Congress paired with the most trade-skeptical president since Herbert Hoover and the Republicans in 1930," said Daniel Griswold, a trade expert with the pro-free-trade Cato Institute.

The tally of seats by Public Citizen, a liberal advocacy group critical of the Bush administration's free-trade agenda, indicated that the 2008 election was the second in a row in which voter anxieties about globalization appeared to help Democrats at the polls. In 2006, more than 20 winning candidates were seen as more critical of free trade than the incumbents they defeated.

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