US pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nees shouldn’t use growth plans to win votes

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

Af­ter for­mer Florida gover­nor Jeb Bush said last month that he would make achiev­ing 4 per­cent eco­nomic growth his top goal if elected US pres­i­dent, Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial front-run­nerHil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton said onMon­day that she would build a “growth and fair­ness econ­omy” if elected to the WhiteHouse.

The two pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates should be ap­plauded for try­ing to re-ig­nite the world’s largest econ­omy. But tak­ing con­crete steps to boost the growth of the real econ­omy is eas­ier said than done.

At a time when the world econ­omy is yet to step out of the long shadow cast by the 2008 global fi­nan­cial cri­sis, it is re­as­sur­ing to see eco­nomic growth tak­ing cen­tral stage at the start of the cam­paign for the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

In­stead of serv­ing as a pow­er­ful growth en­gine, the US econ­omy con­tracted at the start of 2015, drag­ging down global eco­nomic growth to 2.2 per­cent, the low­est since the Great Re­ces­sion of the last decade, ac­cord­ing to theWorld Eco­nomic Out­look re­leased by the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund last week. The IMF has now cut its forecast for this year’s global growth to 3.3 per­cent, down from the 3.5 per­cent it pro­jected in April. That would be the slow­est pace of global growth since the world econ­omy shrank slightly in the re­ces­sion year 2009. Worse, the on­go­ing Greek debt cri­sis and the re­cent Chi­nese stock mar­ket crash leave lit­tle room for op­ti­mism over bet­ter global growth.

Given the dif­fi­cul­ties in sus­tain­ing the frag­ile global re­cov­ery, how­ever, Chi­nese pol­i­cy­mak­ers have made clear their in­ten­tion to boost do­mes­tic growth as much as pos­si­ble.

With its econ­omy worth just more than $10 tril­lion, China con­trib­utes about 30 per­cent to global eco­nomic growth, while the $17-tril­lion US econ­omy’s share is only about 10 per­cent. If the US takes on more

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