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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   13  November 2010

Obama defends US economic policy

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US President Barack Obama on Saturday mounted a firm defence of the US economy and his policy efforts to speed up a sluggish economic recovery, ahead of the APEC leaders' summit in Japan.

Obama said he had never been more confident in what the United States had to offer despite criticisms that its current economic weakness and slow rebound are a sign of waning US weight as regional giants like China rise.

He also argued that American human and financial resources had paved the way for the region's emergence and dynamic economies and said the United States meant to deepen its leadership role in the 21st century.

He noted at the G20 summit in Seoul that ended on Friday, leaders had shown determination to keep focused on global growth.

"As the largest economy in the world, an engine for global growth, that's particularly important for the United States," Obama said.

"That is why we passed an economic plan that has led to five consecutive quarters of economic growth and 10 consecutive months of private sector job growth.

"That's why we passed and are implementing the toughest set of financial reforms since the Great Depression -- something our G20 partners need to do with the same sense of urgency.

"And that's why we're cutting back on nonessentials in the face of serious fiscal challenges."

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