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Remarks of Secretary Lew at a Media Availability in Brussels, Belgium co-hosted with European Commission Vice President for the Euro and Social Dialogue Valdis Dombrovskis


Thank you to Vice President Dombrovskis for hosting today.

We have had a very constructive meeting, and agree on the importance of the United States and our European partners continuing to build a stronger global economy.

In the United States, our economic recovery continues to strengthen. Over the past 5 years, our private sector has created more than 11 million jobs, the longest streak of private-sector job growth in our nation’s history.  Our growth been supported by increases in household wealth, a gradually improving housing market, a growing manufacturing sector, and a flourishing auto industry.

However, the global economy continues to face challenges, most importantly the need to propel economic growth, increase job creation, and expand opportunity and prosperity.

We believe that durable economic growth requires a comprehensive approach with strong policy actions across fiscal, monetary, and structural dimensions.  Taking action in all of these areas can help strengthen demand and create jobs and prosperity.  And that is certainly true in Europe.

European policymakers have taken steps to put in place firewalls, improve transparency in the banking sector, enhance the transmission of monetary policy, and reduce the fear of breakup of the euro zone.  We are also working together with our European partners on an important agreement to further link the economies of the United States and Europe. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a priority for the Administration and the conversations have been progressing in a very constructive way.

At the same time, Europe is not growing in the way that both Europe and the global economy need, and deflationary risks are evident.  Recent measures to create an investment fund at the EU level and to ease fiscal targets for countries taking meaningful structural reforms that will boost growth over time are positive steps forward, and we are hopeful that European leaders will take additional steps to boost domestic demand.

With regard to our sanctions efforts, Vice President Dombrovskis and I both look forward to continuing our close cooperation to maintain the pressure on Russia.  We have been clear that if Moscow takes the necessary steps for a full and immediate implementation of its obligations pursuant to the Minsk agreement, sanctions against Russia could be eased.

On our efforts in Ukraine, Vice President Dombrovskis and I agreed that we are at a critical stage.  The United States and the EU, together with our international partners, are working to ensure that Ukraine has the financial and technical support it needs as it continues to move forward with reforms that will restore economic stability and lay the groundwork for sustainable growth.

Working together, we can strengthen our two economies and the global economy.  Europe is a great partner of the United States, and I want to again thank you for your hospitality.

This content is courtesy of the US Department of the Treasury.  To see the original, click here.