As the G-20 summit in Toronto gets underway, the U.S. position has already been laid out by Tim Geithner and Larry Summers in The Wall Street Journal. British prime minister David Cameron, the "new kid on the block," as he puts it, has done something similar in the Canadian Globe and Mail. The priority for the new British leader in his "first major international summit": getting stuff done. For specifics, here's the breakdown.
THE PROBLEM WITH THESE SUMMITS
Too often, these international meetings fail to live up to the hype and the promises made. I'm sure other leaders would admit that. A lot of money is spent laying them on. ... Then, somehow, those intentions rarely seem to come to fruition in real, tangible global action.
TO MAKE THIS ONE DIFFERENT
So the challenge for the upcoming G8 and G20 is to be more than just grand talking shops. ... I believe that if we want to make a difference, we need a tight focus on what we actually want to achieve, with leaders--including me--being willing to be held to account and made to live up to our promises. We need to show people that we can get real results--by concentrating on key priorities and then driving them through relentlessly, year after year.
I believe we must each start by setting out plans for getting our national finances under control ... Next, we must see through our pledges to fix the world's financial system. The failures of the banks imposed a huge cost on the rest of society. And indeed, the survival of many financial institutions--big and small--owes almost everything to taxpayers in our countries. So I believe that it's fair they should repay that debt through a new levy ... Third, we must continue to press for the real stimulus that our economies need: trade...
BEYOND DOHA: A BIGGER COMMITMENT TO FREE TRADE
I'm announcing today that we are now supporting eight new posts across Africa as part of a wider push by the U.K. to help spur trade between developing countries. According to the World Bank, making trade easier across the world could increase global trade flows by around $377-billion (U.S.)--compared to $336-billion from completing the Doha Round. That's not to say that we should forget about Doha. Far from it. If we could get a global agreement on trade, the world economy would grow by $170-billion. But I'm realistic. Delivering progress on Doha will not be easy.