Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Brown Urges US to 'Seize the Moment' Plea to Avoid Protectionism

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Brown Urges US to 'Seize the Moment' Plea to Avoid Protectionism

Article excerpt

Byline: Andrew Woodcock

GORDON Brown yesterday rounded off his two-day visit to the United States with an address to Congress in which he called on America to take a lead in the world's battle against recession and climate change.

The Prime Minister urged the US political elite to "seize the moment" by joining Britain and the rest of the world in international co-operation to tackle the economic crisis and "build tomorrow today".

He delivered a tough warning against protectionism, arguing erecting trade barriers would "protect no one", while the revival of free trade could end the recession and lead to a doubling in the size of the world economy over two decades.

Mr Brown added that the USA's inventiveness and "faith in the future" should be turned to the problem of halting global warming, telling Congressmen: "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."

The Prime Minister's message met a mixed response. His 35-minute address was interrupted on 16 occasions by standing ovations and he was applauded for almost two minutes as he left the chamber of the House of Representatives, shaking hands and signing copies of the speech.

But it was notable that Democrat Congressmen were more ready to cheer his appeals for action on banking reform, climate change and help for poorer nations. Republicans seemed reluctant to applaud his proposals for global co-operation on tackling the recession.

Mr Brown believes securing active US support is vital to his hopes of reaching agreement on a "global new deal" involving reform of international financial supervision, fiscal stimulus and bank restructuring at the G20 meeting leading economies in London on April 2. He also used yesterday's occasion to announce the award of an honorary knighthood to veteran Senator Edward Kennedy, for his services to the US-UK relationship and the Northern Ireland peace process. …

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