WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says he regrets not being in Asia this week to help negotiate a trade deal that could create U.S. jobs.
Obama says he doesn't know for sure if he would have been able to secure a trade deal with a dozen countries called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But he told reporters at the White House, quote, "It doesn't help that I wasn't there."
Obama canceled his trip to four Asian countries to deal with the partial government shutdown.
He said he's sure "the Chinese don't mind" that he's missing the trip so they can push their agenda without U.S. competition.
Obama said he would characterize the short-term impact as "missed opportunities," but he doesn't think it will do lasting damage to U.S. influence in the region.