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US Concern about continued stagnation in EU economy
At a New York Foreign Press briefing held last September 27, the Assistant Secretary for Europe and Eurasian Affairs Phillip Gordon expressed concern about the ongoing stagnation of the EU economy. He answered the following question from an Italian journalist: "I would like to ask you – some economists don’t see any improvement in the European economy, even for 2013. Are you not afraid that this prolonged economic crisis can affect also the U.S. economic recovery?"
Phillip Gordon's response:
"We have a huge stake in Europe’s economic recovery. It’s our biggest trading partner, our biggest investment partner, and President Obama has said many times that American prosperity is dependent in part on European prosperity. That’s only part of the reason we have such a stake in Europe’s economic success. I mean, that’s a material stake, but Europe’s also our partner in security affairs around the world and can’t do what we need it to do if it doesn’t have the finances. It’s our partner in overseas development assistance. It’s not as stable, as we discussed some protests that result from economic troubles."
"So our stake is enormous, and so in that sense the answer to your question is yes, we are concerned about continued stagnation and lack of growth. But that’s why we’re equally determined to help Europe get started again, and encourage – yes, your – as you say, growth projections for the coming year are not great. But on the other hand, there have been a number of positive developments, including the reforms that we’ve seen in a number of troubled countries and, as I say, bond spreads showing increasing market confidence in those countries undertaking reforms. Europe has done a lot to recapitalize banks. It’s built up these two firewalls which I think are also reassuring to investors. So Europe will get back on its feet, and as it does, that will only continue to help America’s own economic recovery."