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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9211
JPY
USD
119.18
GBP
USD
0.6722
CAD
USD
1.2509
INR
USD
62.518

Rates may not be current.