US Treasury Official Says World Finance Leaders Need to Promote Free Trade

A U.S. Treasury Department high-ranking official says a meeting this weekend in Washington of the world's finance leaders will continue to make the case for free trade at time when it is facing tough challenges. VOA's William Ide reports.

US Treasury Undersecretary Tim Adams says that while globalization, and the rapid pace of technology is threatening jobs across the globe, the Group of Seven finance ministers or G7 will continue to rally support for free trade when they meet this weekend in Washington.

"There is a sense of unease in many of the developed countries where workers feel a sense of economic insecurity, and I think that we as finance ministers need to continue to make the case of why free trade is good for individual economies and good for the global economy," said Tim Adams.

Adams says free trade is something world finance leaders need to not only promote when they meet this weekend, but every day.

His remarks come just as a meeting of trade officials from six trading economies New Delhi, India has failed to reach an agreement over a stalled World Trade Organization deal.

The trade deal, or the Doha Round of talks, is stalled by demands that rich nations cut their agricultural subsidies, and requests that poor nations further open their markets.

Adams said protectionism is a risk every country faces.

"I think it is a risk, not only in the United States but in most developed countries," he said. "I think it is something that requires our attention. We have talked about it in previous sessions, we continue to talk about it, and look for ways in which we can try to minimize that as a risk as we try to work together to minimize our risks."

Adams said world finance leaders and central bank governors will also discuss the Doha Round in Washington as well as foreign currency exchange, the impact of speculative capital flows on the global economy, and ways to fight money laundering, terrorist financing, and how to control other illegal activities.