News / USA

Obama To Push G20 To Tackle Long Term Debt Issue

US President Barack Obama (File Photo)
US President Barack Obama (File Photo)
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 is also trying to convince the other G20 countries that America’s economic and political problems can be overcome.

Europe’s debt crisis will be at the top of the agenda at this week’s summit in the French resort city of Cannes, involving 20 of the world’s largest industrial countries and international organizations.

Last week’s agreement by the European Union to enlarge its bailout fund and to cut Greece’s debt in half will likely ease some of the pressure on the G20 countries.

President Obama called the agreement an important first step toward long-term global economic growth.  But he said more work lies ahead. “The key now is just to make sure that it drives forward in an effective way," he said.

Some experts agree that the EU agreement is only the beginning of the solution.  

Matthias Matthijs is an assistant professor of international political economy at American University in Washington. “It still has a bit of a whiff of kicking the can, maybe, down the road for a couple of months this time.  But the main problems are still there," he said.

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 caused a debt crisis, which led to US debt being downgraded and questions from other countries about whether Washington is competent to address its economic problems.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney assures the G20 partners that 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," he said.

Another of Mr. Obama’s priorities in Cannes is to push for greater access to overseas markets for American exports. “We’ve got to get into a posture where the U.S. is always going to be a big market, and we’re going to welcome goods from all around the world, but we’ve also got to be selling goods around the world," he said.

In addition, professor Matthias Matthijs says the president will continue to bring up the sensitive issue of the value of China’s currency. “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," he said.

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.  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," he said.

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

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs