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G-20: Obama to seek steps to counter downturn

By Lalit K Jha in Washington
March 24, 2009 11:14 IST
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The White House has asserted that there is a commonality in the agenda of the new Obama administration and the leading G-20 countries on the front of financial crisis, and that the US president is looking forward to the economic summit next week.

"I think there is a lot of commonality in the agenda that the administration will pursue and the other nations in the G-20 will discuss next week at the summit," White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs told reporters on Monday at the daily press briefing.

Prominent among these issues are, Gibbs said, monitoring the spending situation to ensure that if the recession becomes deeper, more severe, and what steps needed to be taken.

"I know there's strong agreement that as our markets have shrunk quickly because of this global recession that exports  have been pulled back greatly, particularly those in more developing nations, that funding and help go to those developing nations, through the IMF, in order to spur job creation and exports here in this country," Gibbs said.

"The President, I think, would probably use the same term on this," he said.

Denying that there is any major differences among the G-20 countries, Gibbs said coming out of the finance ministers' meeting a few weeks ago, there was actually a broad agreement.

"The administration, as I've said, there was never any intention to have everybody sign a document that required a certain level or percentage of spending relating to their GDP, as was mentioned -- as the IMF suggested.

"But I believe that what was agreed on at that meeting was to continue to monitor what might be needed to stimulate economies in order to address the downturn in production that each economy will see as part of a global recession,"  Gibbs said.

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Lalit K Jha in Washington
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