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

Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving

Feasts centering on turkeys with an array of traditional sides and desserts are part of the holiday's traditions, which falls on the fourth Thursday in November More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee 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.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8016
JPY
USD
117.76
GBP
USD
0.6340
CAD
USD
1.1268
INR
USD
61.850

Rates may not be current.