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Obama in Chile announced promotion of economic integration between U.S., Latin America and Far East.

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera during their joint news conference at La Moneda Palace in Santiago, Chile today. Photo Credit to AP

SANTIAGO, Chile — Spoking alongside chilean President Sebastián Piñera at the presidential palaca La Moneda in Santiago de Chile, the U.S. President Barack H. Obama on Monday praised Chile’s vibrant democracy and open society.

Obama is midway through a three-country Latin American swing that’s being overshadowed by the battle for Libya’s future.

Obama took questions from reporters for the first time since authorizing U.S. military action against Moammar Gadhafi’s defenses on Saturday. In his opening remarks he sought to bring the focus back to his mission in Latin America, one of drawing America closer to its southern neighbors to boost cooperation and yield economic benefits for both.

In that sense, President Obama reassured his compromise to fully implementing the U.S. free trade pact with Chile.

And he pledged to push for a transpacific partnership to economically integrate the U.S., Latin America and Asia.

Obama also mentioned the successful transition of Latin American countries to democracy, and he argued that the latinamerican example offers a template for a positive outcome in the Middle East and other regions undergoing turmoil now. Chile is one example and Obama’s first stop in Brazil offered another.

Through the presidential social media, Obama said he wants U.S. companies to take advantage of Latin America’s growing economy. For every $1 billion worth of goods and services the U.S. exports, he said, more than 5,000 U.S. jobs are supported.

He said that Brazil imports more goods from the U.S. than from any other country in the world. In 2010, U.S. exports to Brazil supported more than 250,000 U.S. jobs, he said. The president will be meeting with Brazilian and U.S. business leaders during the trip to try to find ways to increase trade.

The Obama administration plans to revise trade agreements with Colombia and Panama this year and submit them for approval to Congress. “In an increasingly global economy, our partnership with these nations is only going to become more vital,” he said. “For it’s a source of growth and prosperity — and not just for the people of Latin America, but for the American people as well.”