US President Barack Obama and Chilean President
Sebastian Pinera voiced support Tuesday for a regional trade deal
that would bring together countries bordering the Pacific Ocean as
they praised progress made in trade between their countries.
The leaders discussed the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations during a meeting at the White House, with Obama praising Chile as "an excellent partner" in reaching a broader regional agreement.
Pinera called Chile "fully committed" to the TPP, noting it would be the largest free-trade zone in the world if approved.
"We hope that in the near future we will be able to make the progress necessary to get that Trans-Pacific Partnership deal done," he said.
The TPP talks involve 11 nations including Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam and Chile.
Obama and Pinera also discussed Chile's progress toward joining the US visa waiver programme, which would allow Chileans to more easily visit the United States.
The visit comes amid greater economic attention to Latin America, with a visit by Peruvian President Ollanta Humala set for next week. Obama travelled to Mexico and Costa Rica last month, and Vice President Joe Biden was in Brazil, Colombia and Trinidad and Tobago just last week.
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