TORONTO – Debt-ridden Americans can no longer "borrow and buy" the world's way toward prosperity, US President Barack Obama has said, warning new drivers of growth were needed to fuel global recovery.
"After years of taking on too much debt, Americans cannot -- and will not -- borrow and buy the world's way to lasting prosperity," Obama said at the end of G20 talks focused on ending the lingering effects of the economic crisis.
Instead the globe should look to consumers elsewhere to pick up the slack, Obama said as he tried to mark the end of an era that saw the American consumer bankroll global growth, and become debt-laden in the process.
"No nation should assume its path to prosperity is paved with exports to America. Indeed, I've made it clear that the United States will compete aggressively for the jobs and industries and markets of the future," he said.
Obama has vowed to double US exports in five years.
He won some backing from his G20 partners, who on Sunday endorsed "efforts to rebalance global demand to help ensure global growth continues on a sustainable path."
As part of the effort to remake the global recovery Obama insisted that countries must not have any "undue advantage," urging China to allow its currency to strengthen.
Proponents say a stronger yuan would make global trade fairer and boost Chinese domestic demand by making imports cheaper and Chinese exports less competitive.
Obama said he expected China to take seriously a promise to revalue the yuan, which he said has given Beijing a significant trading advantage.
"My expectation is that they're going to be serious about the policy that they themselves have announced," he said.
"An undervalued RMB (yuan) has given China a significant trading advantage and we have been very clear to them that we don't consider that acceptable," he added.
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