British PM calls on US to reject protectionism

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown urged the United States on Monday to avoid any moves toward protectionism in response to the world financial crisis, but said London will be Washington's closest ally in dealing with the slowdown. Brown, who joins fellow leaders of the Group of 20 world economies at a summit in Washington on Saturday, said in a speech that US President-elect Barack Obama can lead radical reforms of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and other global institutions. "As America stands at its own dawn of hope, so let that hope be fulfilled through a pact with the wider world to lead and shape the 21st century as the century of a truly global society," Brown said. "The alliance between Britain and America - and more broadly between Europe and America - can and must provide leadership," Brown added.