This is a really good article by McClatchey:
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will travel next week to Asia with the centerpiece of his planned focus on the region still in limbo amid opposition from his own party and thorny tangles with powerhouse Japan over trade.
The White House has been championing the ambitious Trans-Pacific Partnership, which – if it can get through Congress _ would expand trade throughout the Pacific Rim and serve as the biggest trade deal in history.
“It’s where the growth in jobs are. It’s where the money is,” said Matthew Goodman, a former Obama administration official who chairs the political economy program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington research center. “That’s why we go to Asia.”