19 Jun 2010

G20 plea issued by Obama

6:25 am on 19 June 2010

United States President Barack Obama has urged G20 countries to accelerate financial reform and strengthen their public finances.

The plea was contained in a letter issued before G20 members meet in Toronto on 26 June.

In comments apparently directed at China, Mr Obama also stressed the importance of market-determined exchange rates to global economic strength.

China has been criticised by the US for failing to allow its currency to trade freely.

Mr Obama said the group's highest priority at the meeting should be to safeguard and strengthen global economic recovery.

The BBC reports Mr Obama also warned against cutting national debts too quickly as it would put economic recovery at risk.

While it was important to put in place "credible plans" to cut deficits, he said withdrawing economic stimulus early was dangerous.

However, Mr Obama said the United States would still aim to halve its own deficit by 2013.

He also said the US budget deficit would be cut to 3% of GDP by 2015.