Lew out­lines US' G20 agenda

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICAS - By CHEN WEI­HUA in Wash­ing­ton chen­wei­hua@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

At the up­com­ing G20 sum­mit, US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama will seek to en­sure stronger growth, an en­vi­ron­men­tally sus­tain­able fu­ture and a global econ­omy that works for ev­ery­one, ac­cord­ing to US Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Jack Lew.

He said Obama will call on other world lead­ers to fol­low through on the G20’s com­mit­ment to use all pol­icy tools, in­clud­ing fis­cal pol­icy, to achieve robust and in­clu­sive growth.

“He will un­der­score the im­por­tance of in­vest­ing in jobs and sup­port­ing mid­dle class in­comes,” Lew said at the Brook­ings In­sti­tu­tion on Wed­nes­day.

The call for in­clu­sive growth has been strong in­side the United States, where mid­dle class wage stag­na­tion has been a key source of pub­lic griev­ance.

“Around the world, the mes­sage of anx­ious and an­gry cit­i­zens who feel left be­hind un­der­scores the need for global fi­nan­cial dis­cus­sions to show both an un­der­stand­ing of this con­cern and a com­mit­ment to ac­tion,” Lew said.

While Lew did not say which coun­tries he is re­fer­ring to, ex­ploit­ing the pub­lic anger has been a ma­jor strat­egy for US pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates Don­ald Trump and Hil­lary Clin­ton.

A CNN/ORC poll con­ducted in De­cem­ber re­vealed that 69 per­cent of Amer­i­cans say they are ei­ther “very an­gry” or “some­what an­gry” about “the way things are go­ing” in their coun­try.

A Novem­ber sur­vey by Esquire/NBC found that about half of the more than 3,000 Amer­i­can adults polled are an­grier to­day than they were a year ago.

Be­sides eco­nomic chal­lenges, Lew also talked about the threat posed by cli­mate change. He praised the US and China for re­cently com­plet­ing their re­spec­tive fos­sil fuel sub­sidy peer re­views, the first to be un­der­taken un­der the aus­pices of the G-20.

“We con­grat­u­late Ger­many and Mex­ico for launch­ing their own re­views and en­cour­age other G-20 mem­bers to do the same,” he said.

Lew, who was in China in July for the G20 fi­nance min­is­ter and cen­tral bank gov­er­nors meet­ing, praised the G20 for its con­tri­bu­tions to meet­ing cli­mate and other en­vi­ron­men­tal chal­lenges through the new Green Fi­nance Study Group.

Both China and the US are likely to an­nounce the rat­i­fi­ca­tion of the Paris Agree­ment at the G20.

“And we will con­tinue to look for ways the G-20 can sup­port the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Paris Agree­ment”, said Lu, who de­scribed the G20 as “proven to be a flex­i­ble fo­rum for global co­op­er­a­tion”.

Matthew Good­man, a se­nior ad­viser on Asian eco­nom­ics at the Cen­ter for Strate­gic and In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies, called Obama’s at­ten­dance at the G20 in Hangzhou a “legacy trip”, be­cause G20 was part of the ef­fort to sta­bi­lize the global econ­omy shortly af­ter Obama took of­fice in 2009.

Good­man be­lieves China will want to be a good ste­ward of the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

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