The Group of 20 major economies needs to cooperate to grow the global economy, President Obama said in a Financial Times op-ed published in advance of next week’s G20 meeting in France.
Obama touted the G20’s efforts two years ago to rescue the world economy but said progress hadn’t come fast enough. He called for action in three areas to spur economic growth: accelerating the U.S. economy's growth to lead the global recovery, resolving the crisis in Europe, and encouraging individual countries to confront their fiscal challenges to help keep global growth balanced.
Domestically, the president said the American Jobs Act would boost economic growth. Congress is taking up smaller pieces of that bill after the original legislation failed to pass. Obama also touted the recently passed trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama and said his proposed deficit-reduction plan “lays the foundation for future growth.”
Obama lauded the agreement European leaders reached on Thursday to tackle the euro zone’s economic crisis, writing that it laid a “critical foundation” on which leaders should build. The key aspects of European success, Obama said, will be constructing a “credible firewall” to prevent the European crisis from spreading, shoring up the continent’s banks, getting Greek finances back on track, and addressing structural issues in the euro zone.
Across the G20, the president called for strengthening banks by ensuring they have sufficient capital to withstand shocks, and increasing oversight and transparency to curb risk-taking. He also urged a shift from fossil fuels to clean energy and focusing on “infrastructure, finance and good governance” in developing countries to boost economic growth.
When the G20 met two years ago, they “forged a response that pulled the global economy back from the brink of catastrophe…. That’s the leadership we need now,” Obama said.