Obama leaves Washington to attend final G20 summit

This is the US President’s 11th trip to Asia following his famous foreign policy ‘pivot’ to the region

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Barack Obama left Washington Wednesday for his final G20 summit as US president and his 11th trip to Asia following his famous foreign policy “pivot” to the region. Obama attends his last meeting of leaders of the Group of 20 economic powers September 4-5 in Hangzhou, eastern China.

Ben Rhodes, a top White House advisor on foreign and security matters, said Obama’s agenda is packed with priorities for the waning days of his presidency, which ends in a little more than four months.

On his schedule are “a wide-range of global, regional, and bilateral issues,” with world leaders, including in-depth meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the White House said.

“Three big pieces of the presidency are going to be front and center here, through climate change, the global economy and the Asia Pacific region. And I think the schedule will illustrate that,” Rhodes said.

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, who is accompanying the president on the trip, said Wednesday that Obama would call for broader fiscal stimulus from other economies and press Beijing to limit steel capacity.

He will also ask China for steel industry reforms, highlighting an issue that has threatened steel producers around the world, the US treasury chief said.

Obama also has plans to meet his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the G20 summit, with the war against ISIS militants high on the list of talking points.

After departing China, Obama will take part in the ASEAN summit in Laos September 6-8, attended by major regional powers such as China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and Russia.

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