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G-7 Finance Ministers Reject Protectionism

  • VOA News

The Group of Seven most industrialized nations has strongly rejected protectionism and vowed to work together to support growth and employment.

In a statement following talks in Rome (Italy) Saturday, finance ministers from "G-7" nations (Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States) said stabilizing the global economy and markets is their highest priority.

The meeting was held as the world struggles with the worst economic crisis in decades, which is expected to continue through 2009.

The G-7 finance ministers and central bank chiefs pledged to use the full range of policy tools to support growth and employment and strengthen the financial sector.

They reaffirmed its commitment to avoiding protectionism saying such policies would only worsen the economic crisis.

The grouping also stressed the need to support developing countries to prevent the world's poorest from being the biggest losers in the financial crisis.

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The United States was represented by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner who came to Rome a day after the U.S. Congress approved a $787 billion economic stimulus package to revive the U.S. economy.

The ministers endorsed the U.S. and British approach to fixing the banking system by recapitalizing banks. They urged China to continue to allow its currency to rise in value to even out the world's massive trade imbalances.

The recommendations from the meeting are expected to influence a wider gathering in April of G-20 leaders -- the G-7 nations plus the world's most important developing economies including China and India.

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