Treasury chief tells Europe leaders to push pro-growth policies
WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew called on European leaders to pursue pro-growth policies in the short term rather than trim their budget deficits, noting that the U.S. economy is “inextricably tied” to the health of its global partners.
Lew's comments were delivered on Wednesday in a speech at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies previewing this week's global finance meetings in Washington.
Earlier this week, the International Monetary Fund lowered its outlook for the world economy this year, predicting that government spending cuts will slow U.S. growth and keep the euro currency alliance in recession.
Lew said European leaders need to emphasize growth over austerity at a time when unemployment is approaching record highs in several countries. He also said that the Obama administration would keep working to persuade Congress to mitigate the adverse effects of the $85 billion in federal spending cuts that began on March 1.
“The current debate in Europe on its economic future is critical,” Lew said. “They must decide how to better support demand ... how to better balance the pace of fiscal consolidation with the need for growth.”
Lew also addressed currency policies that can be used for gaining trade advantages. The comments underscored U.S. concerns about China and Japan devaluing their currency to make their products cheaper overseas and U.S. and other foreign goods more expensive in their markets.
The Treasury Department last week said China needed to boost the value of its currency, the renminbi, against the dollar. The semi-annual currency report also warned Japan, saying such policies should be used to boost Japan's domestic economy and not to lower the value of the yen for trade advantages.
Such currency policies will be among the key discussion topics at this week's meetings in Washington. The meetings of the Group of 20 major economies begin on Thursday, while the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank commence on Friday.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Postal Service falls short of slower mail delivery standards
- CDC lauds schools for better nutrition
- University of Texas removes statue of Confederate President Davis
- Pope Francis’ lack of familiarity with United States unusual
- Motive in ambush of Houston area deputy remains unknown
- Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Fischer open to interest rate hike
- Obama inches closer to veto-proof support for Iran nuclear deal
- Obama administration developing sanctions against China over cyberespionage
- Gas boom brings successes, struggles to W.Va. communities
- Erika wanes as Tropical Storm Fred forms in Atlantic
- Memorial service for slain Virginia journalists brings call for action