Tags: obama | kerry | asia | shutdown

Obama Grounded, Cancels Asian Trip During Shutdown

Image: Obama Grounded, Cancels Asian Trip During Shutdown

Wednesday, 02 Oct 2013 09:21 AM

By Elliot Jager

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The sky isn't the limit for President Barack Obama. The U.S. government shutdown has forced the president to cancel trips to Malaysia and the Philippines, NBC News reported.

Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to make these visits in Obama's place, starting on Oct. 6.

For now, he still is to visit Indonesia — for an economic meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation — and Brunei.

With no fiscal crisis to hold him back — and no democracy to constrain his policies — Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived Wednesday in Indonesia as part of a regional tour that will assert his country's interests as a power on the ascent.

Forbes reported
that bilateral trade between China and Indonesia has mushroomed to $66 billion in 2012. Beijing's bilateral trade with Malaysia has hit $95 billion.

Obama will miss the chance to address the Fourth Global Entrepreneurship Summit, a program launched in 2009 by the president himself to spur job creation through entrepreneurship by connecting young innovators with resources and ideas, according to  organizers.

In 2010, an earlier fiscal crisis and the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico forced Obama to cancel two foreign trips.

His most recent trip abroad was to St. Petersburg, Russia, in September for the G-20 summit. That trip, which included a stop in Sweden, cost the president politically when his plans for military intervention in Syria lost steam. While he was away, congressional opponents in both parties gained the upper hand, Politico noted.

As president, Obama has visited 40 countries making some 60 trips.

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