News / USA

Obama to Push G20 to Tackle Long-Term Debt

Kent Klein

President Barack Obama goes to the G20 economic summit in France this week with hopes of helping Europe move toward a long-term solution for its debt crisis. The president also is trying to convince the other G20 countries that America’s economic and political problems can be overcome.

Europe's debt crisis, which recently led to riots in the streets of Athens, will lead the agenda at this week’s summit of the world's economic powers in the French resort city of Cannes.

Last week’s agreement by the European Union to enlarge its bailout fund and cut Greece’s debt was expected to ease some of the pressure on the G20 leaders. But Monday's decision by Greek leaders to hold a referendum on the bailout throws the deal into question.

Obama called the agreement an important first step, but said more work lies ahead.

“The key now is to make sure that it is implemented fully and decisively, and I have great confidence in the European leadership to make that happen,” said the president.

America’s economic and political problems may also come up at the G20. Stubborn high unemployment has stifled the US economic recovery. And partisan bickering has led to questions from other countries about Washington's ability to address its economic problems.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney assured the G20 partners the president is making progress on these issues.

“So he carries with him to France the fact that we are pushing our Congress to act on these matters, and he comes as the leader of the largest economy in the world and a great friend and ally of a great many nations,” said Carney.

Another of Obama’s priorities in Cannes is to push for greater access to overseas markets for American exports.

“We have got to get into a posture where the U.S. is always going to be a big market, and we are going to welcome goods from all around the world, but we’ve also got to be selling goods around the world,” said Obama.

The president will continue to bring up the sensitive issue of the value of China’s currency, according to Matthias Matthijs, an assistant professor of international political economy at American University in Washington.

“So basically, the United States is the debtor country and thinks that the Chinese are exporting because of unfair trade practices, and then the Chinese think that the Americans basically print too much money and manipulate their economy that way,” said Matthijs.

Scheherazade Rehman, the director of George Washington University’s European Union Research Center, doubts that the president’s views on China’s currency will get much European support.

“They are so caught up in putting out their own fires that they cannot fathom that this is a good time to bring up a currency war with China," said Rehman. "From President Obama’s point of view, this is a good time, so he can show the American people that ‘Look, we are going to do whatever we can to keep jobs at home.’”

These and other issues will be covered in just two days. Obama and the other G20 leaders arrive in Cannes early Thursday and leave late Friday.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs