President Barack Obama says people around the world can have "absolute confidence" in the soundness of their investments in the United States. And, Mr. Obama downplayed reports of disagreements with European countries over economic stimulus plans.
President Obama made the reassuring comments when asked about the Chinese premier's concerns about the safety of his country's investments in the United States.
"Not just the Chinese government but every investor can have absolute confidence in the soundness of investments in the United States. And that is not just in U.S.-issued treasury notes, but also in the private sector and the commerce and the industry that has made this the most dynamic economy in the world," he said.
China is America's biggest foreign creditor, with an estimated $1 trillion in U.S. government debt. The president said investments in the United States have increased despite the economic crisis.
Mr. Obama spoke in the Oval Office after his first meeting with Brazil's President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, which he called "a wonderful meeting of the minds."
President Lula said while Brazil was the last to be touched by the global financial crisis, he is worried about the frozen credit markets.
"The truth of the matter is that money has vanished. And if we do not make credit supply flow again, then, yes, the crisis could deepen in our country. So that is why I believe it is urgent to re-establish credit supply in the world," he said.
The two presidents discussed their plans for next month's G-20 summit of wealthy and developing nations in London.
Mr. Obama strongly discounted reports of a disagreement with Europe, mainly France and Germany, over his calls for other countries to adopt bigger economic stimulus plans.
"I cannot be clearer in saying that there are no sides. This is a phony debate that, I think, has evolved over the last few days in the news cycle," he said.
The president said his campaign for tighter regulation of the financial industry will be "front and center" at the summit.
Mr. Obama and Mr. Lula also talked about their plans to attend next month's Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago. Some reports say Mr. Lula will help to ease strained relations between the U.S. and several Latin American countries.
Saturday's meeting at the White House was Mr. Obama's first with a South American leader since his inauguration in January.