President Obama said today that other nations need to take action to jumpstart their economies in order for his administration's own actions to spur the economy to succeed.
"We can do a really good job here at home with a whole host of policies, but if you continue to see deterioration in the world economy, that's going to set us back," Mr. Obama said.
The president made the remarks in the Oval Office after receiving his daily economic briefing from Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. Geithner is going to Europe tomorrow to meet with the other finance ministers and central bank governors in the G-20 – the global grouping of the major economic powers.
Geithner said that the time is now for global action.
"We need to bring the world together to put in place a very substantial and sustained program of support for recovery and growth. And we want to bring together a new consensus, globally, on how to strengthen this global financial system so that a crisis like this never happens again," he said. "There has been a lot of talk and a lot of ideas, over the last two years, in these areas. It's time now for us to move together and to begin to act to put in place a stronger framework of reforms."
Mr. Obama himself will be attending the G-20 Summit in London early next month. In a statement sure to be closely watched overseas, Mr. Obama also said he is not seeking protectionist policies during the downturn.
"The United States is part of a integrated global economy," he said. "And, so we have to not only think about what's happening here at home, but in order for us to grow businesses, create jobs here at home, we also have to be mindful of what's happening overseas… how can we make sure that emerging markets, developing countries that may be very hard hit as a consequence of the contracting economy, how do we make sure that they remain stable, that they can still purchase American goods?"
He added: "How do we make sure, also, that we are not falling into protectionist patterns and that world trade is still something that countries support and embrace as opposed to scaling back from."