Obama gets update on Asia-Pacific trade talks from officials

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is meeting with senior White House officials and Cabinet secretaries to discuss the status of talks on a massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

The negotiations among the U.S., Canada, and 10 countries in the Asia-Pacific region initially aimed for an agreement by the end of the year, but are now likely to continue in 2014.

The White House says the Obama administration is pleased with progress and says the deal is critical for creating jobs and promoting economic growth in member countries.

The partnership is considered key to Obama’s attempts to seek a counterbalance to China in the Asia-Pacific region.

Among those attending Monday’s meeting were Vice-President Joe Biden, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Trade Representative Michael Froman.