Obama says leaders have advanced world economy

Speaking at G-20 summit, US president says economy is recovering, but "it needs to be speeded up;" calls on private sector to create jobs.

November 12, 2010 10:30
1 minute read.
Obama with South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak

obama korea 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

US President Barack Obama said Friday the global economy is "back on the path to recovery," although he and his G-20 summit partners must work further to resolve differences over trade and currency issues.

Obama said he needs "extra time" to reach agreement with longtime ally South Korea on a new free-trade agreement. He said he "wasn't interested in making an announcement" just to send a signal of success and said he thinks any such pact can — and must — be a "win-win" deal for the United States.

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Of the global economy, Obama said that while improvements have been made in a number of areas, he and other leaders recognize "progress hasn't come quickly enough," particularly in the area of job creation.

"We have a recovery," he said when asked about lingering high joblessness in America.

"It needs to be speeded up. Government cannot hire back the 8 million people that lost jobs," he said. "That needs to be done by the private sector," he said of the economic woes back home in the United States.

Obama rejected suggestions that he had been weakened on the world stage by election losses at home. He said that leaders around the world — particularly in Asia — are eager to work with America on economic and security matters.

Asked about continuing differences with China over what the United States considers as unfair trade and currency practices, Obama said he has long spoken out for a growing and vibrant China.

"It is undervalued. And China spends enormous amounts of money intervening in the market to keep it undervalued," he said of China's currency.

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