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

    Vietnam Urges US to Lift Lethal Weapons Ban Amid S. China Sea Tensions

    US president’s upcoming visit to Vietnam underscores strength of relationship, and lifting embargo would reflect that trust, ambassador says

    What Your First Name Says About Who You Support for President

    Bobby, Betty and Curtis tend to support Donald Trump while people named Juan, Liz or Mohammad are more likely to lean toward Hillary Clinton

    South Pole Diary: In Round-the-clock Darkness, Radiant Moon Shines Like the Sun

    You hear more and see more when the moon first comes out; it’s your senses in overdrive, tuning into a new world.

    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.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    More Americas News

    Olympic Flame in Brazil for a 90-Day Relay

    Flame has arrived in Brazil’s capital for 90-day relay around the country before reaching the famous Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro for opening of Games on August 5

    Ex-Mexican Foreign Minister Nominated as UN Climate Chief

    Patricia Espinosa, who works as Mexico's ambassador to Germany, won high marks for presiding at annual UN climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, in 2010 when she was foreign minister

    Latin America Eyes Volcanoes to Fire Up Clean Development

    Mexico, Costa Rica aim to build on their position as Latin America's leading producers of geothermal power to help meet challenges they face of curbing planet-warming emissions, making their energy supplies secure

    Video Media Monitors Report Decline in Global Press Freedom

    A new report from Freedom House scoring 199 countries and territories shows global press freedom has fallen to its lowest point in more than a decade

    Video US: Journalists Around the World Never in More Peril

    State Department draws attention to detentions, alleged human rights abuses against journalists that it has previously identified as being 'censored, attacked, threatened, imprisoned, or otherwise oppressed because of their reporting'

    Key Findings of Freedom of the Press Report

    Annual Freedom of the Press report on media independence around world assesses degree of print, broadcast and digital media freedom in 199 countries and territories