During a visit by Singapore's prime minister on Tuesday, President Barack Obama will extol the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal and commit to getting it done, a top White House official said Friday, even though Obama's fellow Democrats panned it at their convention this past week.

Obama wants Congress to approve the 12-nation trade deal, which he sees as a central part of his economic and foreign policy legacy, before he leaves the White House on Jan. 20. Obama feels the deal would help write the rules on global trade while keeping a competitive edge for the U.S.

"This will be something that Congress has to contend with. They can either cede that ground to China" or else "write the rules of the road for trade right now, and we should absolutely do that," White House spokesman Eric Schultz said. "The president absolutely believes this deal should pass this year."