The president heads to Toronto this week for the G-20 summit, putting the group in the headlines for the first time since September. In The Wall Street Journal, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and director of the National Economic Council Larry Summers lay out the administration's goals for this meeting. Priority number one, they say, is maintaining the global growth that will fuel America's and the world's economic recovery. After that come efforts toward global financial regulation, and a host of other issues, from food security to shifting away from fossil fuels. Here's the breakdown.
HOW THIS SUMMIT FITS INTO THE BIGGER PICTURE
In London last spring, the G-20 embraced an unprecedented and coordinated strategy to end this crisis. In Pittsburgh last fall, we established a new framework for global growth, and we designated the G-20 as the premier forum for international economic cooperation. In Toronto, we will take steps to ensure that the current recovery is self-sustaining.
THE SUCCESS OF PREVIOUS SUMMITS
The global economy, which was then contracting at an unprecedented rate, is now expanding, and world trade has increased by more than 20% over the last 15 months. This turnaround has been especially dramatic in the United States.
THE TASK AT THIS SUMMIT
First, the G-20 must continue to work together to secure the global recovery it did so much to bring about. We must ensure that global demand is both strong and balanced. While the U.S. was the major source of demand for the world economic growth before the crisis, global demand must rest on many pillars going forward ... We must demonstrate a commitment to reducing long-term deficits, but not at the price of short-term growth ... Emerging economies can help strengthen the global recovery by strengthening domestic sources of growth and by allowing more flexibility in their exchange rates. We welcome China's recent decision to do so and look forward to its vigorous implementation.
A PLAN FOR GLOBAL FINANCIAL REGULATION
The world should welcome Europe's announcement to bring greater disclosure to its banking system, which provides further momentum for the G-20 work to bring all global institutions and markets within a more transparent regulatory system. Critically, we need to reach agreement internationally on reducing leverage and raising capital requirements, improving both the quantity and quality of capital.
FOOD SECURITY, ENERGY SECURITY, AND MORE
Alongside our efforts to lay a new foundation for economic growth, we must follow through on our common commitment to raise living standards across developing countries and to make smarter investments in areas like agricultural development and food security.
In addition, we must address the urgent challenge of our energy needs, as the current disaster in the Gulf makes clear.