President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy pledged to work together to address currency and other imbalances in the world economy as nations struggle to recover from the global crisis.
“Too many people are still out of work, too many businesses are still having problems getting financing, and there’s still too many imbalances in the world economy that are inhibiting the prospects of growth,” Obama said Monday, sitting alongside Sarkozy in the Oval Office.
France currently holds the presidency of the Group of Eight industrialized economies and the larger Group of 20 leading rich and developing nations. In his turn at the helm of the G-20, Sarkozy is looking to push for changes that would keep the global monetary system from relying so heavily on the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, though he has not proposed specifics about his plans.
Sarkozy said Monday that he recognized “how important the U.S. dollar is as the world’s number one currency.” He said he would work with the U.S. to reach common ground on matters of currency, commodity prices and other sensitive economic issues ahead of the G8 and G20 summits he’ll host in France later this year.
The White House has not formally announced if Obama will attend the spring G8 summit, but the president will likely attend, said a senior administration official, who insisted on anonymity. Obama is scheduled to host the event in 2012.