Obama urges Europe not to slow stimulus

Martin Crutsinger
Associated Press
via The Washington Times

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Obama is appealing to the world’s major economies not to waver in their efforts to support a sustained rebound from the near collapse of the global economic system in the fall of 2008.

“We must act together to strengthen the recovery,” Mr. Obama said in his letter to other leaders of the Group of 20 major industrial countries, written in advance of next week’s summit meeting in Toronto.

But Mr. Obama’s appeal for unity underscored a number of divisions that have developed between the major powers. Many European nations, rattled by the debt crisis that had engulfed Greece, have started to trim their own budget deficits while China has rejected calls by the United States to allow its currency to rise in value as a way to boost sales of American and other foreign products in China.

Obama referred in an oblique way to those disagreements in the letter, avoiding mentioning other countries by name.

“Our highest priority in Toronto must be to safeguard and strengthen the recovery,” he said in the letter, which the White House released on Friday. “We worked exceptionally hard to restore growth; we cannot let it falter or lose strength now.”

Mr. Obama called on the other nations to “reaffirm our unity of purpose to provide the policy support necessary to keep economic growth strong.”…

…White House spokesman Bill Burton told reporters traveling with Obama to Ohio on Friday that China currency “obviously is going to be an issue that we’ll continue to discuss.” Mr. Burton said an update to a long-delayed report on China currency would be released after the G-20. By law, the report should have been released April 15 but Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner delayed it until after the summit.

The Obama administration is under heavy pressure from Congress to name China a currency manipulator, a designation that would trigger talks between the two countries and could ultimately lead to U.S. trade sanctions against China.

There had been hopes that China would move on the issue before the Toronto summit but on Thursday Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters that “we believe it would be inappropriate to discuss the renminbi exchange rate issue in the context of the G-20 meeting.”

Qin reiterated the government’s position that it would gradually reform its exchange rate policies at a timing of its choosing and not in response to pressure.

The complete article is at The Washington Times.

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