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

Photogallery Strong Words Start, May End, S. African Xenophobic Attacks

President Jacob Zuma publicly condemned rise in attacks on foreign nationals but critics say leadership has been less than welcoming to foreign residents More

Video Family Waits to Hear Charges Against Reporter Jailed in Iran

Reports in Iran say Jason Rezaian has been charged with espionage, but brother tells VOA indictment has not been made public More

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Action to Stabilize Libya

Amnesty International says multinational concerted humanitarian effort must be enacted to address crisis; decrepit boats continue to bring thousands of new arrivals daily 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.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs

More Americas News

Better Lives Sought for Larimar Miners in Dominican Republic

Blue-green stone's existence on Caribbean island seen as both a boon and a curse for those looking for jobs in impoverished southwestern mountains
More

Antibiotic Resistance Found in Isolated Amazonian Tribe

Yanomami villagers in Venezuela offer rare chance to see what microbes likely shared our bodies before civilizations evolved
More

Brazil's Olympic Host Rio Has Phones Cut Due to Unpaid Bills

Brazilian telecoms firm Oi SA says it cut Internet and telephone lines after state government racked up debt of $55.7 million in unpaid bills
More

Pope Considering Cuba Stop During US Trip but No Decision

Pope Francis is scheduled to visit New York, Philadelphia and Washington in the last week of September
More

India and Canada Look Forward to Deeper Ties

Modi was the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Canada in 42 years
More

Colombian Rebels Blame Government for War's Rising Death Toll

But FARC rebels declined to say whether they had broken their own ceasefire with recent attack that killed 11 government soldiers
More