By Merle David Kellerhals Jr.
IIP Staff Writer
September 6, 2013
“Instead of the looming threat of another financial meltdown, we’re focused for the first time in many years on building upon the gains that we’ve made,” Obama noted during a press briefing following the two-day G20 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia.
“For the first time in three years, instead of an urgent discussion to address the European financial crisis, we see a Europe that has emerged from recession,” he added.
Citing the strength of the U.S. recovery, the president said the U.S. manufacturing sector is rebounding, and new regulations have strengthened the banking system while reducing the chance of another crisis. The United States is also reducing its dependence on imported oil and is producing more clean energy.
In the last three and a half years, Obama said, the U.S. private sector has created 7.5 million new jobs, which is at a pace of more than 2 million jobs annually.
“We’ve put more people back to work, but we’ve also cleared away the rubble of crisis and laid the foundation for stronger and more durable economic growth,” the president told journalists.
In tandem with employment progress, Obama said, the United States also is whittling down its federal deficit at the fastest rate in 60 years. The president emphasized he will keep making the case for smart investments and fiscal responsibility to keep the U.S. economy in a growth pattern, create more jobs and keep the U.S. business sector competitive in the global economy.
“I’m determined that the world has confidence in the full faith and credit of the United States,” the president said. “As the world’s largest economy, our recovery is helping to drive global growth.”
“And in the emerging markets in particular, there’s a recognition that a strong U.S. economy is good for their economies, too,” he said.
Leaders at the summit, representing the 20 most advanced and largest global economies, agreed on specific steps to strengthen the global economy, address climate change, bolster the international tax system, expand trade, strengthen nuclear industry liability, improve workplace safety, combat corruption and promote global development, according to the White House.
In addition, the G20 leaders reached these agreements:
• To phase down the production and consumption of a potent category of greenhouse gases through the Montreal Protocol.
• To work together to address international tax evasion, to fix tax rules that allow multinational companies to avoid paying tax anywhere, and to support efforts by less developed countries to strengthen their revenue collection systems.
• To achieve a strong multilateral trade agreement in December 2013, with trade facilitation at its core, and to extend the standstill on protectionist trade measures for an additional two years through 2016.
“We’re moving ahead with our development agenda, with a focus on issues like food security and combating corruption,” Obama said.
During the summit, Obama said, the United States continued efforts to advance two key trade initiatives: the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.