There has been much discussion about the recent round of negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which took place in Hawaii at the end of July. This is not surprising, as the attempt to create an ambitious free trade area that would bring together 12 nations of the Asia-Pacific and Western Hemisphere has yet to reach a final agreement. Despite the current setback, the White House can rest assured that the TPP’s three Latin American members – Chile, Peru, and Mexico – remain firmly interested in this initiative.
For Washington, this bloc is geo-strategically important because it will further increase U.S. influence in the Asia Pacific at a time of tensions with Beijing. Moreover, President Barack Obama has around a year and a half left in office, and his objective is to cement his legacy regarding foreign policy issues, in the vein of recent successes like historical agreements with Cuba and Iran. Hence, a successful TPP agreement would be the proverbial cherry on the cake for the Obama presidency’s foreign policy.