News / Americas

G20 Commits to Deficit Reduction Time Line

Multimedia

Audio

Leaders of the Group of 20 meeting in Toronto, Canada have agreed that the world's most advanced industrialized countries should reduce their budget deficits by half within three years, with further steps to cut debt relative to economic output by 2016.

The G20, which includes major industrialized powers in the Group of Eight plus developing nations with significant economies such as China and India, agreed to a specific time line for deficit reduction, while giving governments flexibility to adjust the pace of changes based on their own situations.

A plan promoted by host Canada will have the most advanced countries cut their budget deficits in half by 2013.  By 2016, governments would be required to stabilize or begin reducing the percentage of their debt as measured against total gross domestic product, the value of all goods and services produced in a given country.

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who in opening the summit said nations are walking an economic "tightrope," noted that the G20 declaration leaves room for continuing stimulus measures and steps to bring down debt.  

"All leaders recognize that fiscal consolidation is not an end in itself," he said. "There will be a continued role for ongoing stimulus in the short-term as we develop the framework for strong, sustainable and balanced growth."

The declaration calls recovery so far from the global economic crisis uneven and fragile, with unemployment at unacceptable levels in many countries.  It says unprecedented and globally coordinated fiscal and monetary stimulus is playing a major role in helping to restore private demand and lending.

Saying serious challenges remain, G20 leaders recognize the risks to recovery from fiscal adjustment across several major economies.  But they add that failure to implement fiscal consolidation where it is needed could undermine confidence and hamper growth.

President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials argued strongly at the summit against any early slowing of stimulus spending by governments, saying that it might bring about a second global recession.

In his concluding news conference, the president was asked about divisions on this issue.  He said the declaration reflects policies that the United States has promoted and addresses a range of needs.

"In each country, what we have to recognize is that the recovery is still fragile, that we still have more work to do to make this recovery durable," he said.  "But we also have to recognize that if markets are skittish and don't have confidence that we can tackle the tough problems of our medium- and long-term debt and deficits, then that also is going to undermine our recovery."

The president said the declaration shows that G20 nations can bridge their differences and coordinate approaches while continuing to focus on durable growth that puts people to work and broadens prosperity.

The G20 declaration recognizes U.S. concerns, saying that sustaining economic recovery requires nations to follow through on delivering existing stimulus plans, while working to create the conditions for robust private demand.

On other key issues, European nations such as Britain, France and Germany failed to win G20 agreement for new taxes on banks as part of efforts to discourage excessive risk-taking that could lead to another financial crisis.  The declaration leaves such a tax up to individual members.

G20 nations pledge a medium-term phase out of what they call inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, although this would take into account what they call vulnerable groups and their development needs.   

Where the world's poorest countries are concerned, the G20 says that narrowing the development gap and reducing poverty are integral to a broader objective of achieving strong, sustainable and balanced growth.

At the last of bilateral meetings at the G20, Mr. Obama met on Sunday with Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

President Obama discussed the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership, and joint efforts on climate change.  Mr. Obama said he looks forward to his trip to India in November.  Prime Minister Singh called President Obama a "role model for billions and billions of people" around the world.   

After the G20, President Obama returns to Washington, where he will be waiting for Congress to give final approval to legislation that will impose sweeping new regulations on the U.S. financial system.  

G20 leaders say they look forward to their next meetings - in Seoul, South Korea in November, and next year in France.  Mexico assumes the G20 chairmanship in 2012.

You May Like

Ebola Brings Sickness, Fear, Anger

Cornell University Professor Stacey Langwick considers cultural, social aspects of outbreak More

British Fighters On Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign Jihadists More

Violent Quarantine Clashes Hamper Liberia's Struggle to Contain Ebola

Anger, misinformation and mistrust of government hampering efforts to contain the deadly virus 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.
Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbasi
X
Scott Stearns
August 21, 2014 9:20 PM
The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Peru's Congress Fails to Ratify Humala's New Cabinet

Key conservative allies withheld their votes, failure underscores president's waning political power as economy slows
More

US Judge Calls Argentina Debt-Swap Plan 'Illegal'

But, Judge Thomas Griesa stopped short of holding country in contempt, saying that would not help resolve dispute that led to nation's second default in a dozen years
More

Brazil Presidential Race Gets One More Candidate

Environmentalist Marina Silva to join contest for Socialist Party candidate; vote to be held October 5
More

Guatemalan General Killed in Copter Crash Near Mexico Border

General Rudy Ortiz was among five people killed; cause under investigation; weather said to have been possible factor
More

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month
More

Pope's Relatives Killed in Argentina Car Crash

Family of pontiff's nephew killed after car plows into truck
More