• Germany's news in English

Merkel attacks 'political' limits on trade surpluses

The Local · 11 Nov 2010, 10:56

Published: 11 Nov 2010 08:45 GMT+01:00
Updated: 11 Nov 2010 10:56 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"To set political limits on trade surpluses and deficits is neither economically justified nor politically appropriate," she said in a speech to a G20 business summit, hours before leaders of the grouping were to begin meeting.

The United States had earlier proposed limiting current account surpluses or shortfalls to four percent of a nation's output.

It shelved the idea of numerical targets following fierce opposition from surplus countries such as China, Germany and Japan.

Leaders of the Group of 20 advanced and emerging economies will later Thursday start a two-day summit set to be dominated by disputes over foreign exchange rates and trade imbalances.

Merkel also called for leaders to take a strong stance against trade protectionism.

"We have to do everything to avoid protectionism. So we have to send a signal from the summit that we finally get into the last round of Doha negotiations (on freeing up world trade)," she said.

Merkel said France, which will take over as G20 president following the Seoul summit, "is facing some hard work."

"So far we were in a phase of dealing with the crisis, now we are facing a phase of what will the G20 be like after the crisis."

Nations must find "reasonable exit strategies" when rolling back stimulus programmes, she said.

"It's absolutely necessary to stick to the Toronto (G20 June summit) goal of slashing deficits in half by 2013," Merkel said.

Story continues below…

"Fiscal credibility does not have to hinder growth but can actually enhance growth," she said, adding that budget consolidation is compatible with growth.

But Merkel also vowed Thursday to work with US President Barack Obama on Afghanistan and the world economy, despite her earlier criticism of Washington's economic policy.

Merkel said she would use a meeting with Obama before a G20 summit was to begin "to send a signal, really good signal," for global growth.

"Only together will we be able to tackle the crucial problems of the world today, problems and issues such as Afghanistan, the upcoming NATO summit meeting and also obviously issues of the G20," she said, hours before the summit was to get under way.

Obama said he and Merkel have much to discuss on issues such as Afghanistan.

"On economic issues as G20 members, but also as two of the world's largest economies, making sure that we continue with a balanced and sustainable growth that all of us seek," he added.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

01:14 November 12, 2010 by AmericanDave
Obama has tried redistributing wealth that is not his here in the US, and it hasn't went over very well with most Americans. So now he is trying to do it on the world stage. I would hope that all world leaders of great nations will stand against Obama and his agenda. Merkel is correct that protectionism must be avoided and it would be great if all of Germany will support her.
Today's headlines
German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Four Ku Klux Klan groups active in Germany, says govt
An American member of the KKK at a gathering in Georgia. Photo: EPA.

The German government estimates that there are four Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups currently active in the country, according to a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) on Tuesday.

Ex-chancellor Schröder to mediate in supermarket row
Gerhard Schröder. Photo: DPA

Can Gerhard Schröder bring an end to the Kaiser's Tengelmann saga?

Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Hertha Berlin fan club criticised for 'anti-gay banner'
Hertha BSC beat FC Cologne 2-1. Photo: DPA

A 50 metre fan banner apparently mocking the idea of gay adoption has overshadowed Hertha BSC's win in the Bundesliga.

Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd