President Obama's Asian trip is addressing a number of important economic problems, such as this country's trade deficit with several Asian nations, notably China. His concentration on Asia reminds Europe that the United States is an Asian as well as a global power.
It is a measure of the Europe-versus-Asia balance that Europeans' first stop in seeking outside money to try to finance their recent effort to bail out Greece and Italy was China. China didn't seem especially interested.
It is also important that Mr. Obama lay a durable base for his economic, Asian, and China policies as the election campaign heats up. Republican challengers are zeroing in on U.S. relations with China as a potential issue with which to attack him. His Asian trip is an effort to suggest that improved trade ties to Asia might help.