15 Jul 2011

Obama sets deadline for debt agreement

7:43 pm on 15 July 2011

President Barack Obama has told US lawmakers that he wants agreement on a United States debt deal within 24 to 36 hours.

According to the BBC, Republican and Democratic aides reported the President told congressional leaders that if they could not find agreement on the path forward within that period, the negotiations would have to continue into the weekend.

The report came on the fifth consecutive day of cross-party negotiations at the White House between President Obama and congressional leaders trying to make a breakthrough on the debt deal.

Republicans are opposing any new taxes while the Democrats are resisting calls for spending cuts that would affect the poor, senior citizens or key social programmes.

The US must raise its US$14.3 trillion debt ceiling to borrow beyond 2 August..

Standard & Poor's on Thursday joined Moody's rating agency in placing US debt under review, citing an increasing risk of a payment default as the reason.

China watches with concern

China is expressing its concerns about the political stalemate in Washington over raising the debt ceiling.

China is the US's largest creditor, holding around US$1 trillion in treasury securities

The government in Beijing is concerned at any move that might lower the value of those bonds and has urged Washington to safeguard the interests of its investors.