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Barack Obama

Geithner: U.S., China agree on rebalancing measures

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Tuesday that two days of talks with top Chinese officials had produced agreement on key measures for revitalizing global growth.

“China will rebalance toward domestic demand-led growth and increase the share of consumption in GDP (gross domestic product),” Geithner said in a prepared statement.

Beijing will do this by building a stronger safety net, improving health care and pensions, and by increasing aid to the poor, the Treasury said.

For its part, the United States “will take steps to sustain and reinforce” recent evidence of rising U.S. savings rates and improvement in its balance of trade with the rest of the world, he added. The United States pledged to cut its budget deficit to a more sustainable level by 2013.

The U.S. side reaffirmed its commitment to stronger regulation and oversight of its financial system in the wake of the recent financial crisis, while China pledged to take steps to build a more market-based domestic financial system, including opening it up to more foreign investment.

This would include accelerating efforts to allow the entry of more foreign-invested securities firms and allowing foreign-controlled banks to underwrite corporate bonds on the same basis as domestic banks.

The talks also included a new memorandum of understanding signed by the two nations to increase their cooperation on energy, environmental and climate change issues. The agreement, which builds on an earlier cooperation pledge, provides for exchange of information and technologies to aid the transition to less carbon-intensive economies, among other steps.

Reporting by Glenn Somerville and David Lawder; Editing by James Dalgleish

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