**John W. Snow
Secretary of the Treasury**
Treasury Secretary John Snow addressed G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors yesterday in Dubai, taking the opportunity to stress the importance of global growth and emphasising that this must be a priority for the G-7.
The Secretary pointed out that growth in the major economies, in Europe, and in Asia, is not what it could be. *”We need to do more to ensure a robust global recovery and to promote higher growth rates in our economies.”*
While efforts within the United States to accelerate the economy are beginning to take affect, Mr. Snow said the U.S. cannot be the sole engine of world growth. In a press release issued by Treasury after the meeting, he said he was pleased to see the G7 come together for the first time on this point.
According to Mr. Snow, the following steps are intended to create conditions in which employers will hire more workers and in which the US economy will continue to grow:
· make health care more affordable and its costs more predictable
· prevent frivolous lawsuits from diverting money from job creation into legal battles.
· build a more affordable, reliable energy system that can support the expansion of the nation’s economy.
· streamline regulations and needless paperwork requirements that reduce business productivity and deter growth.
· open new markets to high value American products and bring down prices for American consumers through trade agreements.
· work to make tax relief permanent, so businesses and families alike can plan for the future with confidence.
Secretary urged his G7 colleagues to embark on their own appropriate and equally ambitious agendas to maximise economic growth and job creation, and in his press release reported that “they were quite receptive.”
Referencing disappointment with the collapse of the WTO talks in Cancun, Mexico earlier this month, the Treasury official reaffirmed the US views on global trade: *”the United States supports free trade because a world that trades freely will grow in prosperity.”* Indications were that the United States stands ready to work with others who seek trade liberalisation.
The Secretary met later in the evening with Finance Ministers from countries engaged in the fight against terrorist financing.
He pointed out that in the past two years, there has been important progress in protecting the world’s financial systems from abuse by terrorists – thanks to the hard work of many countries, the FATF, and the IMF and World Bank. *”I look forward to the Fund and Bank making terrorist financing/money laundering assessments a permanent part of their surveillance and oversight function.”*
In meeting with the Finance Ministers, the United States intended to press for broad support for measures that will ensure the informal sectors are not alternative havens for the flow of terrorist funds. Secretary Snow said he would encourage steps to make sure charitable donations go for worthy causes and not to support terror. *”These steps are important counterparts to our continuing effort to deny terrorists access to the formal networks of international finance,”* he said.