Obama to Push for "Free Trade" Agreement with Asia

Just when you think it can't get any more obvious, we get this:

President Barack Obama raised hopes for creating an Asia-Pacific free-trade region by announcing Saturday that the U.S. would seek to join a smaller group seen as a precursor to a broader Pacific Rim agreement.

News that the U.S. would participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, joining Chile, New Zealand, Singapore and Brunei, was announced in Tokyo and Singapore, drawing applause at the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

"Significant steps like the TPP are important to help keep up the momentum in our efforts to realize the ... vision" to create a region-wide free trade area, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told other leaders at their weekend summit here.