News / Economy

G8, G20 Leaders Confront Range of Issues Prior to Summit

The G8 and G20 summits in Canada later this week have been preceded by maneuvering by some member nations on key economic issues.  Steps announced by some in advance of the discussions have added to speculation about the outcome of the summits being held in and near the Canadian city of Toronto.

In his letter to G20 leaders last week, President Obama attempted to steer the summit in a direction his administration favors.  He called on member countries not to weaken global economic recovery by focusing too much on debt reduction.

That brought some significant push back, particularly from German chancellor Angela Merkel, who said deficit reduction should be a central focus of the G8 and G20.  Financial experts said her prediction of difficult discussions on the question of spending, highlights a key divide going into the summit.

Germany is a member of the G8, the group of the world's wealthiest industrialized nations, with the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Italy, Russia, and Japan.  Taking place before the G20, the G8 gathering will be President Obama's first stop on Friday.

In a move announced well in advance of both summits, Germany, Britain and France also rolled out a plan for a new bank charge that would help meet costs of dealing with financial crisis.  

This issue has led to tensions within the G20.  Experts say it underscores another area of disagreement as leaders decide how to move forward with steps to prevent a repeat of the global financial collapse.

China's decision ahead of the G20 summit to allow its currency to appreciate against the U.S. dollar removed a key sore point for the U.S., Canada and others upset over Beijing's monetary policies.

Declining to speculate on specific topics President Obama will discuss with China's President Hu Jintao on currency issues, White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton made clear that G20 members are waiting to see how Beijing continues to implement the currency adjustment in coming months.

"In terms of the broader discussions they will be having about job growth, financial regulatory reforms that need to be put in place and have been put in place, and how we get on a path of a durable global economic recovery, currency will certainly be part of that discussion," Burton said.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper matched the initial White House reaction, saying nations will press Beijing to keep to its pledge on the currency question.

Against the background of discussions on the global financial situation, G8/G20 leaders will also be grappling with how to respond to key global tension spots, including the Korean peninsula, and Iran's defiance of international will over its uranium enrichment.

Attending the G8 as an observer, China joined Russia in supporting a U.N. Security Council resolution imposing a fourth round of international sanctions on Iran.

The European Union added significant trade penalties, and Canada this week announced measures that bring it in line with the U.N. sanctions resolution.

President Obama goes to Canada strengthened by U.S. lawmaker's agreement on a final version of legislation targeting Iran's financial and petroleum sectors.  A vote on a final bill, which has broad bipartisan support, is expected after the G8 and G20 summits.

Iran and global financial issues will be topics when President Obama meets with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the White House, before the two men attend the G8 and G20 summits.

Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications points to Russian cooperation on Iran and North Korea, and says the visit reflects a strong relationship the two men have built.

"This is a relationship that has worked, this is a relationship that has achieved real results," he said. "And I think that the president believes that is in large part [due] to the positive relationship he has forged with President Medvedev."

G8 and G20 nations face criticism going into the summits over their efficiency in fulfilling past commitments on things like financial contributions for HIV/AIDS prevention in Africa, and aid to the poor.

Various groups will be protesting G8 and G20 policies in demonstrations this week and into the weekend.  More than 5,000 Canadian police and other security forces have been deployed at the G8 summit site, and in Toronto the site of the G20

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7768
JPY
USD
108.84
GBP
USD
0.6124
CAD
USD
1.0999
INR
USD
61.042

Rates may not be current.