This past week, the red-carpet arrival of Hu Jintao, President of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), marked the beginning of the first full all-out Sino-U.S. summit in 13 years. President Hu was welcomed to the United States by Vice President Joe Biden, before the two left for the White House to meet with President Barack Obama. 

On Friday, January 14 President Obama announced that he plans on easing trade and travel relations with Communist Cuba, including making it easier for U.S. citizens to travel directly to the island from American airports. The President added that he had instructed the relevant government departments to allow religious groups and students to travel to the communist-run island.

Both AFP and Reuters news services reported on January 13 that U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk had announced that the Obama administration hopes to win congressional approval of a free trade agreement with South Korea before July.

Today, President Obama is expected to announce a deal with China that involves nuclear security. Additionally, Boeing will announce contracts on the sale of jets to China as part of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit, an agreement that would reportedly stimulate American jobs.

House Republicans vowing to reform a number of items are turning their attention to the United Nations, preparing to continue an already long-raging battle on Capitol Hill over the financial cost of American involvement in the organization. As it stands now, the United States finances about 22 percent of the total budget of the United Nations.

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