Background Press Call by Senior Administration Officials Previewing G7 Summit and Economic Deliverables

The White House

MODERATOR: And so, again, in the interest of time, we’re going to move on to this next section.

I am now going to pass it back to [senior administration official], again, joined by [senior administration official], to preview the G7 Summit, as well as the economic deliverables to come out of that.

A reminder that this section, unlike the other two, is embargoed until tomorrow morning, June 11th, 7:00 a.m. British Summer Time.

So, [senior administration officials], we’ll pass it back to you.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Thanks. I’ll start and just point out, you know, this is the first G7 Summit in nearly two years. It’s the first G7 Summit that President Biden is attending. It is the first G7 Summit that has been held since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. And we think it is an incredibly important moment for the G7 for all the reasons I was just describing.

As the President has said many times, we are entering a period in which the question has been called between democracies and autocracies. And pulling together the G7, plus our partner countries, we believe would demonstrate that we’re unified in our resolve to show that democracy and shared democratic values provide the single best path for delivering results for our people and for meeting the biggest challenges of the world.

And I want to just reinforce that last point. Top to bottom, the driving, animating purpose of this G7 Summit is to show that democracies can deliver against the biggest challenges we are facing in the world.

So, on the global economy, the G7 will be spending its time here talking about how it can most effectively contribute to the global economic recovery and to global economic fairness, including through things like committing to this global minimum tax.

On COVID-19, as we’ve already talked about, not only will there be a significant commitment of doses, but an embrace of a broader roadmap to help end the pandemic.

On climate, we will have more to say over the next couple of days, but the G7 countries will not only recommit to what they’ve laid out at the President’s Leaders Summit on Climate, as well as their own national contributions, but there will be tangible action proposed and adopted at this G7, on climate.

And then, in terms of infrastructure and the enormous need for low- and middle-income countries around the world to have their infrastructure requirements met, the G7+ will embrace a high-standards, transparent, climate-friendly, non-corrupt mechanism for investing in the physical, digital, and health infrastructure of low- and middle-income countries. It will be an alternative to that which other countries, including China, are offering.

And then, of course, there will be discussion of all of the hotspots and the key regional challenges, as well as the way in which new technologies are reshaping our world. So they will discuss ransomware and how to set the rules of the road on all forms of emerging technology so that it’s democracies, and not autocracies, who are laying the foundation for standards as we go forward.

All of this will end up getting enshrined in the G7 leaders communiqué that will be released at the conclusion of the summit. There will be a few other leader-level documents as well, but that’s the broad basis of what we’re trying to accomplish: meaningful outcomes on COVID, on climate, on the global economy, on infrastructure, on ransomware, and cyber.

And when you add it all up, I think a fair read of what will come out of these next few days is one of the most substantive, if not the most substantive, set of deliverables out of the G7 in long memory. It’s — there’s going to be a lot packed into these three days and a number of significant, concrete outcomes.

So, with that, let me turn it over to [senior administration official].

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yeah, thanks, [senior administration official]. So I’ll talk about the first working session of the G7, which is going to be tomorrow. And it’s going to focus on the global economy.

So, let me give some context, which is that the U.S. is once again leading the world economy into recovery from a position of strength at home.

And as you know, this is a dramatic turnaround from when the President took office four months ago. U.S. economic growth projections for this year have doubled since December; they’re projected to be the fastest in almost 40 years.

The labor market is clearly gathering strength. The economy has added over 540,000 jobs on average since the President took office, the most over four months of any presidency.

Unemployment has fallen from above 14 percent to under 6 percent, and it’s expected to return to pre-pandemic levels by 2023, which is about seven years faster than compared to the post-2009 recovery. Actually, if you look at the latest jobs report, it showed the largest one-month drop in long-term unemployment in a decade.

And for context, long-term unemployment is especially pernicious to the labor force. The longer one is unemployed, the more difficult, historically, it’s been to find new employment.

So, you know, that’s the context. And importantly, as we head into these G7 meetings, the strength of the U.S. economy is helping to power the global economic recovery. Both the OECD and the IMF estimate that U.S. economic growth this year will add a percentage point to global growth. And this is coming after 2020 — a year in which global growth contracted 3.5 percent, which is the worst peacetime recession since the Great Depression.

So these economic outcomes, as [senior administration officials] both alluded to, they’re the result of deliberate choices: the wartime, whole-of-government effort that [senior administration official] described to beat back the pandemic, but also the bold and unflinching decision the President made to go big and upfront on fiscal support and the plans to make generational investments to address structural challenges and lift the economy’s growth potential by addressing longstanding disparities and by boosting the innovation and dynamism of the economy.

So, here at the G7, we’ll continue to make efforts to accelerate the global growth recovery, which, in turn, will create long-term benefits to U.S. exports and U.S. jobs.

So we’ll do that in three ways. We’ll — leaders will encourage G7 partners to continue providing near-term fiscal support to create a balanced global recovery, as well as long-term structural investments to boost our innovation and dynamism together.

We will also build on the commitment from finance ministers, last week, to give active consideration to channel a proportion of the IMF’s plans to allocate $650 billion in economic support through Special Drawing Rights to multiply the impact of that allocation to lower-income countries where the pandemic response needs are the greatest and where the economic recovery has been slowest.

And the last thing I’ll mention before we can take questions is: Leaders will also endorse the historic agreement reached last week by finance ministers for a global minimum corporate tax of at least 15 percent. It’s a major statement to have G7 unity on this effort. It will serve as a springboard to getting broader agreement at the G20. So we see this as a critical step towards ending the race to the bottom on corporate taxes that’s come at the expense of workers, at the expense of investments in domestic renewal, and at the expense of growing the middle class.

I’ll stop there.

MODERATOR: Thanks so much. So, we have time for a couple of questions. So, if you’ve got a question on this recent G7 section or the economic deliverables, please use the “raise hand” function.

Okay, no questions. As a reminder that this most recent section — oh, coming in at the last second. Well, why don’t we start with Andrew Restuccia with the Wall Street Journal.

Q Thanks. I wanted to ask [senior administration official] about the Johnson meeting just because we only got one question on that. Can you talk a little bit about Northern Ireland specifically and what the President might tell the Prime Minister on that subject? And I would love for you to respond to this report in the Times of the UK, as well, if you could. Thanks.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: All right, sure. On Northern Ireland, the President is going to say to the Prime Minister what he has said publicly for a long time now, including as recently as St. Patrick’s Day, which is that he believes that the Good Friday Agreement is the foundation for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland; that a lot of progress has been made over the 20-plus years since the Good Friday Agreement came into force and that that progress must be protected; and that the outcome of the current discussions between the UK and the EU should ensure the continued vitality of the Good Friday Agreement.

You know, the United States is not in those negotiations and not seeking to be in those negotiations. And we are instead a strong and vigorous supporter of practical, creative, flexible, results-oriented negotiations that, at the end of the day, produce a result that protects all of the gains that the people of Northern Ireland — that all communities in Northern Ireland have made. And that’s what he’s going to say.

It will not be confrontational or adversarial or — you know, he didn’t come here to give a lecture. He came merely to communicate what he believes very, very deeply about peace in Northern Ireland, about the priority the United States places on that, about the priority Joe Biden places on that. And that’s the spirit with which he’ll approach the conversation.

MODERATOR: Thank you. And so, in the interest of time, we’re going to have to conclude. Thanks so much for everyone joining.

As a friendly reminder, again, this most recent section on the G7 preview and economic deliverables is embargoed until tomorrow, June 11th, 7:00 a.m. British Summer Time. And the other two sections on the COVID-19 vaccine announcement, as well as the preview of the President’s bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Johnson are embargoed until this call concludes, which will be momentarily.

Thank you again for all your time. And we’ll be in touch very soon.

12:57 P.M. BST

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