Despite Obama absence, Trans Pacific Partnership still a go
Discussions for a Trans-Pacific trade pact are ongoing to meet a deadline by year's end. This was confirmed by US officials last Saturday, despite the absence of US President Barack Obama in the summit because of the current government shutdown,
Obama sought to iron out issues with eleven other leaders of the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP. These eleven countries were on the sidelines of the regional summit in Bali last Monday and Tuesday. He was forced to shelve the trip because of the current budget impasse besetting the US government.
Secretary of State John Kerry, who stood in for US President Barack Obama, in a speech last Saturday said, "I do want to make clear none of what is happining in Washington diminishes by one iota our commitment to our partners in Asia, including our efforts to promote trade and investment throughout the region."
Secretary Kerry was with US Trade Representative Michael Froman, working with ministers to put together a framework for the US headed TPP. This trading bloc is considered by President Obama as an integral part in 'rebalancing' US strategic interests in Asia.