Special Report: Global Financial Crisis
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner gestures during a news conference at the end of a G7 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Rome February 14, 2009. Geithner said on Saturday governments had to respond forcefully to the worst global economic downturn in decades while sticking to commitments to free trade. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
ROME, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Treasury Secretary
Geithner said governments had to act strongly to deal with the worst global
economic recession in decades while respecting free trade commitments.
"We are confronted with a broader and deeper slowdown
than has been experienced in decades," he said in a statement after a meeting
with his counterparts from the Group of Seven industrialized powers in Rome.
In the statement, Geithner also said "all countries
need to sustain a commitment to open trade and investment policies which are
essential to economic growth and prosperity."
So far, the U.S. Congress has approved a 787 billion
U.S. dollars economic stimulus package, which would require public
infrastructure projects use U.S. steel and goods under a "Buy America" clause
that brings concerns about the return of trade protectionism.
At the G7 finance ministerial meeting in Rome on
Friday and Saturday, ministers and central bank governors agreed that an open
system of global trade and investment "is indispensable for global prosperity."
"The G7 remains committed to avoiding protectionist measures, which would only exacerbate the downturn, to refraining from raising new barriers and to working toward a quick and ambitious conclusion of the Doha round (of the WTO talks)," a final communique issue at the end of the Rome meeting said.