Obama to call for early enforcement of TPP in Asia "rebalance" speech

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10:03 6 September 2016

VIENTIANE, Sept. 6, Kyodo

U.S. President Barack Obama is set on Tuesday to call for early enforcement of a yet-to-be-ratified Pacific free trade deal as part of efforts to advance his policy of strategic “rebalance” to Asia, an initiative widely seen as a counter to the rise of China.

Obama will make a pitch for the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade pact signed by 12 member nations including Japan but not China, in a speech he will deliver in Laos in what is likely to be his last trip to Asia before completing his second four-year term in January.

Obama arrived in the Laotian capital Vientiane late Monday, making him the first sitting U.S. president to visit the landlocked Southeast Asian country. He is on a two-nation Asian tour that has also taken him to China.

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