Canada urges G20 to set hard targets for debt reduction

WASHINGTON, April 18 Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:48pm EDT

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WASHINGTON, April 18 (Reuters) - Policymakers from the world's leading economies disagree on whether countries should have numerical targets for reducing public debt beyond 2016, Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Thursday, with the United States and Canada in opposing camps.

"To cut to the chase on this thing, I think an issue that will come up tonight and tomorrow is the issue of hard targets, or not, for debt-to-GDP," Flaherty told reporters, referring to a meeting of finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 advanced and emerging economies.

"My impression is that the U.S. administration does not want to have hard targets after 2016, which is what we've talked about before," he said. "Some others may have other views but I haven't had a chance to hear what they have to say yet."

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