President Obama heads to Asia this week with a wide-ranging agenda. White House officials said today the administration hopes to reach common ground with a number leaders on strengthening alliances, trade, the war in Afghanistan, nuclear non-proliferation, how to deal with Iran and North Korea, and energy/climate issues.
The president will visit Japan, Singapore, China and South Korea. He’ll meet with the leaders of all four nations, and several others as he attends the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) and becomes the first U.S. president to hold a multi-lateral meeting with all 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
“The overarching theme is that America is a Pacific nation, it understands the importance of Asia in the 21st century, and it’s going to be very engaged in a very comprehensive way to make progress on a whole series of issues that are critical for our prosperity and our security,” Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, told reporters.
The trip is Obama’s first to the region as president and is particularly important when it comes to trade.
“Right now, 1.6 million jobs in the United States are associated with exports to Asia. And as the Asian region grows, we could see hundreds of thousands of more jobs being created there as well,” said Jeffrey Bader, National Security Council Senior Director for East Asian Affairs.
See President Obama’s entire itinerary here
Asia is where it’s at baby!
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