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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7893
JPY
USD
107.68
GBP
USD
0.6238
CAD
USD
1.1214
INR
USD
61.185

Rates may not be current.