The United States and leaders of the European Union have met in Washington in an annual summit, with discussion and keen attention paid to resolving the debt crisis and how to revive growth.
The focus of the annual EU-US summit was the global economy, though the leaders also discussed issues like the political transition in the Middle East, Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the situation in Afghanistan.
When speaking to the press, United States President Barack Obama said the eurozone debt crisis took centre stage and the “huge importance” of reaching a resolution to the crisis.
President Obama said:
As the world’s two largest economies and as each other’s most important trading partners, we spent a lot of time focusing on how we can continue to grow our economies and create good jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. A large part of that conversation obviously revolved around the eurozone crisis, and Presidents Van Rompuy and Barroso have been very actively engaged with the heads of government and heads of state in Europe to try to resolve this crisis. I communicated to them that the United States stands ready to do our part to help them resolve this issue.
Obama, who met with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, released a joint statement, vowing to revive economic growth.
“We are committed to working together to reinvigorate economic growth, create jobs, and ensure financial stability. We will do so by taking actions that address near-term growth concerns, as well as fiscal and financial vulnerabilities, and that strengthen the foundations of long-lasting and balanced growth," said the statement.
"We are committed to making the EU-US trade and investment relationship - already the largest and most integrated in the world - stronger," they added.
At the end of the summit, they announced that they are looking at the possibility of bilateral trade talks to enhance the “untapped potential” of transatlantic economic cooperation.
According to Reuters, the United States and the EU account for about half of world economic output and nearly one-third of world trade. Two-way trade was up about 15 percent in the first nine months of 2011, despite a severe debt crisis in Europe that is crippling growth.