March 17th, 2011
02:45 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Amid unrest in the Middle East and the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, President Obama is staying the course by pressing forward on his five-day trip to Latin America.
The First Family will depart Friday night for stops in Brazil, Chile, and El Salvador, where the president will meet with the leaders of each country to discuss trade and the global economy. It will be his first visit to the three countries and a chance to talk about hemispheric challenges.
"This trip gives us an opportunity to highlight the work that has been done and will continue to be done with a very important set of global-regional partners and leaders," said Daniel Restrepo, a White House policy advisor for Western Hemisphere affairs. "At each stop there are a series of concrete steps and agreements that will be reached on the types of issues that we pursue in the Americas."
Though the United States and Brazil are the two largest democracies and economies in the Western Hemisphere, this trip is unlikely to produce any new trade initiatives. FULL POST