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Brown: Urging U.S. to Take the Lead

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Published on Mar 6, 2009

British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown told U.S lawmakers on Wednesday that the U.S. should lead the world out of recession, and that other countries need to play their part too.

[Gordon Brown, British Prime Minister]:
"So let us work together for the worldwide reduction of interest rates and a scale of stimulus round the world equal to the depth of the recession and the dimensions of the recovery we must make."

Brown urged America to resist protectionism, fight climate change and take advantage of the huge goodwill toward the U.S. after the election of President Barack Obama.

Brown will host a G20 summit in London next month. He is eager to get agreement for coordinated action to boost the world economy.

[Gordon Brown, British Prime Minister]:
"Just think how each of our actions, if combined, could mean a whole, much greater than the sum of the parts—all and not just some banks stabilized; on fiscal stimulus, the impact multiplied because everybody does it."

Brown got 19 standing ovations during his speech to the Democratic-controlled Congress. He emphasized the special relationship between Britain and the United States.

[Gordon Brown, British Prime Minister]:
"I come now to talk of new and different battles we must fight together; to speak of a global economy in crisis and a planet imperiled. I believe that you, the nation that had the vision to put a man on the moon, are also the nation with the vision to protect and preserve our planet earth."

Brown said there were lessons to be learned from the economic crisis, particularly that the financial instruments that were designed to spread risk, spread contagion instead.

[Gordon Brown, British Prime Minister]:
"Today's financial institutions are so interwoven that a bad bank anywhere is a threat to good banks everywhere."

Brown's words on protectionism were delivered to a Congress that last month unnerved some of its trading partners by including a "Buy American" provision in a massive $787 billion economic stimulus package.

Obama had urged Congress to push through the stimulus package rapidly as one of his first moves in office to try to jolt the U.S. economy out of recession.

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