President Barack Obama will face a broad range of pressing issues on his 11th trip as president to Asia, with the future of his strategic rebalance to the Asia Pacific and his legacy in that region still uncertain. White House officials said that while in Asia he will repeatedly make “a forceful case” for ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The trade deal, signed by 12 Pacific rim nations, is the economic foundation of the so-called pivot. “TPP is a litmus test for U.S. leadership,” said Ben Rhodes, deputy national security advisor. Without ratification the U.S. “would be ceding the region to countries like China, who do not set the same types of high standards for trade agreements,” he argued.
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