There will be some quality beach time.

(USA Today) — President Obama’s foreign policy focus shifts to Latin America today as he heads south on a five-day trip in pursuit of his top task at home: creating jobs.

After weeks of attention to pro-democracy movements in the Middle East and devastation in Japan, Obama will highlight more positive foreign news — the booming economy in Brazil and the diminution of anti-American sentiment in much of Latin America — and ways the United States can capitalize on it.

“In this increasingly interconnected and fiercely competitive world, our top priority as a nation has to be creating and sustaining new jobs and new opportunities for our people,” Obama writes in a op-ed for USA TODAY.

Obama’s staff points to dramatic economic progress across the region over the past decade that makes it ripe for increased exports from the U.S. and more opportunities for U.S. businesses. “You’ve got countries who have fundamentally sound finances, relatively low inflation, flexible exchange rates, reduced debt, strong banking regulation, deep capital markets,” says Mike Froman, the deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs at the White House.

“So this trip fundamentally is about the U.S. recovery, U.S. exports, and the critical relationship that Latin America plays in our economic future,” he says.

There will be no new treaties signed, no dramatic summit meetings, no big diplomatic breakthroughs — the kinds of achievements that typically punctuate presidential trips abroad.

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