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Analysis: Obama’s Asia policy set back by Democrat

February 1, 2014 • National News


FILE – In this Jan. 28, 2014, file photo, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Barack Obama’s Asia policy took a hit this week, and it came from a stalwart of his own party. Reid announced that he opposes legislation that’s key for a trans-Pacific trade pact that’s arguably the most important part of Obama’s effort to step up American engagement in Asia. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s Asia policy took a hit this week, and it came from a member of his own party.

The top Democratic senator, Harry Reid, announced that he opposes legislation that’s key for a trans-Pacific trade pact that is arguably the most important part of Obama’s effort to strengthen American engagement in Asia.

Since Obama rolled out the policy, most attention has been on the military aspect, largely because it was described as a rebalance in U.S. priorities after a decade of costly war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

But officials have increasingly stressed that Obama’s foreign policy “pivot” to Asia is about more than cementing America’s stature as the pre-eminent power in the Asia-Pacific as China grows in strength. It’s about capitalizing on the region’s rapid economic growth.

That’s the importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, an ambitious free trade agreement being negotiated by 12 nations, including Japan, that Login to read more

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