LIMA, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama on Saturday sought to reassure Latin America that U.S. policy in the region will not significantly change once his successor, President-elect Donald Trump, assumes power.
Obama, who is attending the annual conference of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation in Peru, spoke to a group of about 1,000 people in a town hall setting. He told those in attendance they should give Trump a chance to govern before making judgments about his policies, a common theme from Obama since Republicans swept the Nov. 8 election.
"With respect to Latin America, I don't anticipate major changes in policy from the new administration," Obama said, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Obama said world leaders nervous about Trump's tough rhetoric on defense and economic policies should give him time to turn campaign speeches into actual policy.
"How you campaign isn't always how you govern," Obama said. "Sometimes, when you campaign, you're trying to stir up passions. When you're governing, you're trying to think of, 'how do I make this work?'"
Obama has had a series of side meetings with world leaders at the APEC conference, which is the final stop on the last scheduled trip abroad of his presidency. He met with 11 leaders of nations included in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade deal that was the linchpin of Obama's Asia policy, but that Trump and others campaigned against.
Congressional leaders said there is no hope that TPP will pass before Obama leaves office Jan. 20.
In a statement released by the White House after the meeting, Obama encouraged other leaders in the deal to continue to work together to make it a success, though it is all-but-certain the United States will not be a part of it -- a fact the White House did not acknowledge in describing Obama's meeting.
"President Obama conveyed that as we continue to engage globally, we must continue to find ways to ensure that trade agreements contribute to our shared objective of reducing inequality," the statement reads. "President Obama encouraged his fellow leaders to continue to work together to advance TPP and other policies that achieve these shared goals."
Obama also met bilaterally with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Afterward, the White House said the two leaders reaffirmed their countries' commitments to a denuclearized Korean peninsula, and the Paris Climate Accord. Both leaders said they remain committed to enforcing United Nations sanctions against North Korea for undertaking a nuclear weapons program.