Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong says he understands the Obama administration's efforts to push the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) have been ''politically difficult'', but he hopes the focus will remain in the ''bigger picture''. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION). Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, speaking at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on a landmark visit to Washington D.C., urged the US on Monday to commit to the existing Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) despite political difficulties during an election year. Lee will meet with President Barack Obama on Tuesday, when Obama is expected to extol the TPP trade deal and commit to getting the deal done. Obama wants the U.S. Congress to approve the 12-nation trade deal, which he sees as a central part of his economic and foreign policy legacy, before he leaves the White House on Jan. 20. Both Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump oppose the TPP, and it has become a hot-button issue in the campaign to replace Obama. Free trade deals have been blamed for U.S. manufacturing plant closures, job losses and stagnant wages. Obama has cast the TPP as righting the wrongs of past trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada. Both countries also are part of the TPP.