For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 1, 2008
Press Briefing on the President's Trip to Japan and the G8 Summit
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
Dennis Wilder, National Security Council Senior Director for Asian Affairs
Dan Price, Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs
James Connaughton, Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality
3:32 P.M. EDT
MR. JOHNDROE: Good afternoon. This is an on-the-record, off-camera briefing by Dennis Wilder, National Security Council Senior Director for Asian Affairs; Dan Price, Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs, and Deputy National Security Advisor; as well as Jim Connaughton, Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality -- a briefing on the President's trip to Japan and the G8 Summit. We'll start with Dennis.
MR. WILDER: Thank you. Good afternoon. I'd just like to take a couple of minutes to brief you on the bilateral agenda with Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda, as well as the bilateral meeting the President will have with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, and Chinese President Hu Jintao.
This will be the President's fourth visit to Japan since taking office, and his second meeting with Prime Minister Fukuda since he assumed the office last September. After arriving in Japan on Sunday, July 6th, the President will have an hour-long meeting with Prime Minister Fukuda, followed by a joint press briefing. Later that day, Prime Minister and Mrs. Fukuda have invited President and Mrs. Bush to a small social dinner.
The meeting with Prime Minister Fukuda offers a good opportunity to review the steps the United States and Japan have taken during this administration to strengthen our alliance, which is the cornerstone of our security policy in East Asia. As you may know, we are in the midst of a major force posture realignment in Japan that will see some American forces transferred from Japan to Guam, and other U.S. forces consolidated in areas of Japan away from major urban centers and better suited to military training.
The two leaders will also discuss the way ahead in the six-party talks as we work to put in place a verification regime so that we can verify that North Korea has given up its nuclear ambitions and stopped proliferating nuclear technology.
The President, as he did last Friday, will reassure the Japanese people that he will never forget the abduction of Japanese citizens by North Korea, and that we will continue to cooperate closely with Japan to obtain a swift resolution to the abduction issue.
I'm sure other topics of major international concern will be discussed between them, such as the situations in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Burma and Zimbabwe. The two leaders will also certainly compare notes just prior to the G8 meeting on major global issues such as how to bring the Doha Round negotiations to closure, and international policy on climate change. They will also likely give special attention to U.S.-Japan cooperation in the area of health and food security, particularly in Africa.
Let me now briefly discuss meetings the President will have on his final day in Japan, that is on July 9th, with President Lee and President Hu. In each of these meetings the President will have a chance to coordinate U.S. strategy in the six-party talks, and explore the best ways to move the process of Korean denuclearization and peace forward. Let me also note that the meeting with President Lee will be an opportunity to lay the groundwork for the visit that President Bush will make to South Korea, which is now scheduled for August 5th and 6th. That is just prior to the President going to Beijing for the Olympics.
As you may remember, President Lee, when he visited Camp David in April, said that he looked forward to creating a 21st-century strategic alliance with the United States. At this meeting in Japan the two Presidents will begin to put real substance to that goal by discussing ways in which to expand the peninsular regional and global dimensions of the alliance. President Bush and President Lee will discuss their commitment to getting their respective legislatures to ratify the U.S.-Korea free trade agreement, which will bring important benefits to workers, farmers, ranchers, and entrepreneurs in both the United States and Korea.
In the meeting with President Hu, President Bush will review developments and Sino-U.S. economic and political relations since their last meeting at APEC in Sydney almost one year ago. The President will be eager to hear from President Hu firsthand about the improvements in cross-strait relations and what the future holds there. He will also want to hear about the negotiations between Beijing and the representatives of the Dalai Lama that are going on even as we speak in Beijing today.
The President will also want to discuss a range of international issues with President Hu, where we hope to see China play a constructive role, such as on Darfur, Iran, Zimbabwe and Burma. As always, the President will remind China's leader of the importance the United States places on human rights and religious freedom. The two leaders are also likely to touch on the work of our two governments in forums such as the Strategic Economic Dialogue and the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade, aimed at improving the U.S.-China economic relationship. Finally, the President will stress to President Hu the need for China to actively contribute to a successful market-opening Doha Round.
And on that note, let me turn it over.
MR. JOHNDROE: Before I introduce Dan Price, let me just say the President will also have several other bilateral meetings while he is there in Toyako, and we'll have those for you tomorrow or on Thursday.
All right, Dan.
MR. PRICE: Well, good afternoon. I'm going to sketch out the kind of choreography of the summit, what is likely to happen on each day, and then focus on a few of the critical issues.
The summit will take place in Toyako, on the island of Hokkaido, and it will cover three days. On Monday, July 7th, it will begin with a lunch and working session involving the G8 leaders and leaders from seven African countries: Algeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Senegal. We expect that these sessions will look at global issues, as well as development issues. The first day will finish with a dinner for the G8 leaders and spouses.
The second day, Tuesday, July 8th, will be devoted to the meetings of the G8. Leaders will have four sessions. We expect that they will discuss a broad range of issues, including development, Africa, food security, trade and investment policy, energy security, climate change, and issues relating to the global economy, including oil prices. We also expect that day the G8 leaders will discuss regional political issues, counterterrorism and non-proliferation.
On the third day, Wednesday, July 9th, it will begin with an outreach session with the G8 leaders and the leaders of Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa. These are the five outreach countries involved in the Heiligendamm process that was launched by Germany last year.
Following this session with those five countries there will be the leaders' meeting of the major economies. This is the G8, plus the five Heiligendamm outreach countries, plus Australia, Indonesia and South Korea. The major economies leaders' meeting will be followed by an outreach session and a discussion involving the G8 plus all of the outreach countries, and we expect that issues relating to the world economy and food security will figure prominently in those discussions.
Now I'd like to focus on a couple of issues that are of particular significance to the United States and that we think will receive considerable attention during these three days. The first has to do with the subject of accountability. The President has underscored the importance of ensuring the G8 members follow through on meeting commitments that had been made at previous summits. It's not enough for the G8 leaders to meet and issue declarations and make good promises; G8 members need to follow through with actions to make good on those promises.
We, together with our colleagues, have this year been focusing on enhancing G8 accountability and establishing mechanisms to ensure that G8 commitments are met. I'm not going to review in detail all of the prior G8 commitments, but there are some very significant ones that were made with respect to malaria, HIV/AIDS, polio, assistance to Africa, and committed levels of funding to fight AIDS, malaria, TB, and other infectious diseases.
The United States has strongly encouraged efforts to produce G8 accountability reports that will provide greater transparency into actions to implement these specific commitments. We would also like to see accountability become a fundamental part of the G8 going forward, and are seeking to ensure that the accountability reports released this year are updated annually.
Let's start with health. At this year's G8 summit, we expect leaders will be discussing efforts to fulfill past commitments on HIV/AIDS, malaria, and polio. The United States is meeting its pledges in all of these areas. To date, through PEPFAR, the United States has supported lifesaving treatments for nearly 1.7 million people in sub-Saharan Africa. The President's reauthorization request for $30 billion over the next five years would provide treatment for 2.5 million people, prevent 12 million new infections, and provide care for 12 million people, including 5 million orphans and vulnerable children.
At least year's G8, the United States challenged the G8 to match our efforts under the reauthorization request for PEPFAR. The G8 agreed, and is committed to provide treatment for 5 million people, prevent 24 million new infections, and provide care for 24 million people.
On malaria, through the President's Malaria Initiative, the United States is working, itself, to reduce malaria-related deaths by 50 percent in the 15 hardest-hit African countries. At Heiligendamm, at last year's summit, again, the United States challenged the rest of the G8 to match our efforts under PMI, and again the G8 took up that challenge, committing to meet the needs in a total of 30 of the hardest-hit countries in Africa. In 2007, more than 25 million people have benefitted from the President's Malaria Initiative, dealing with prevention and treatment interventions such as the provisions of nets, spraying, and medicines.
There was also a commitment on polio at past G8s. And here again the United States has honored its commitments by maintaining its level of contributions. We've provided over $1.4 billion for polio eradication since 1988, almost double what any other country has done. We have urged our G8 partners to honor the pledge to maintain or increase their funding levels. We are committed to finish the job and eradicate polio.
We also expect that the President will discuss with his counterparts two new initiatives that he has announced in the area of health care. One is training of health care workers, and the other is fighting neglected tropical diseases. Like the malaria and HIV/AIDS initiatives last year, these initiatives -- we have suggested that these initiatives also include benchmarks for measurable results.
On health worker training, you may recall that during the visit of Prime Minister Brown in Washington, the President and the Prime Minister announced an initiative to increase the number of health care workers in four African countries, to work towards the World Health Organization's minimum threshold of 2.3 health workers per 1,000 people. The U.S. and the U.K. will be working together in partnership with Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique and Zambia towards this goal. And the United States is investing at least $1.2 billion over five years toward the effort in these five -- these four countries. We expect to discuss this initiative with other G8 leaders.
Similarly, with respect to neglected tropical diseases, as you may recall, the President announced a U.S. $350 million initiative to fight certain major neglected tropical diseases. That $350 million figure is a commitment over a five-year period that would provide treatment for more than 300 million people in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
At the U.S.-EU summit, the European Union announced support for both the neglected tropical disease initiative and the health care worker initiative, as did Prime Minister Brown during his visit here. The President will be discussing this initiative -- or these initiatives with his colleagues at the G8.
At the Gleneagles summit in 2005, the G8 pledged to double aid to Africa by 2010, and noted this commitment, in combination with other donors, would result in an increase of aid to Africa by $25 billion in 2010. At that same summit, Gleneagles, President Bush announced that the United States would double our assistance to sub-Saharan Africa between 2004 and 2010, and we are on track to meet that goal and increase our assistance to $8.67 billion by 2010.
Let me turn now to the subject of food security. We expect that the leaders will be discussing the G8's response to the rise in food prices and to efforts to boost food security through short-, medium-, and long-term approaches. We think it's important that the G8 address immediate food aid needs, including through the local purchase of food aid and providing essential non-food assistance such as seed and fertilizers. It's also important to improve coordination among assistance providers to work towards the goal of increasing agricultural production and improving delivery of food aid.
And finally, it's necessary that we address the suite of policies that inhibit agricultural production, or inhibit the development of open and efficient agricultural markets, such as restrictions on exports or restrictions on biotechnology. We hope to discuss among the G8 how we can work with African-led frameworks, such as the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program to boost agricultural production.
As far as USG actions go, as you know, on May 1, the President announced a new initiative to provide $770 million to support food aid and development programs, bringing to nearly $1 billion total additional USG funds announced to address the food crisis since mid-April. With these additional funds, the United States is on track to provide a total of nearly $5 billion to fight global hunger in 2008 and 2009.
Let me turn to trade and investment liberalization. We expect the G8 leaders will discuss the necessity of maintaining and promoting open markets for trade and investment, particularly in the light of growing protectionist sentiment. With respect to Doha, we anticipate that the leaders will discuss the importance of achieving an ambitious conclusion to the Doha Round, focusing on the three market access pillars of the negotiation: agriculture, industrial goods, and services. The United States believes that the Doha negotiations have made progress in recent days, although there is much work ahead of us. The United States will continue our intensive efforts to resolve differences, and if other developed and major developing countries work with us in that spirit, we can achieve success.
With respect to international investment, we think that the G8 leaders are likely to discuss the benefits of international investment to the global economy in terms of stimulating growth, creating jobs, enhancing productivity, and fostering competitiveness. We believe the G8 leaders should discuss the importance of the G8 countries themselves embracing, and encouraging others to adopt, certain core principles on open investment, such as fair, equitable and non-discriminatory treatment; the need for transparency and predictability; and the importance of ensuring that any governmental review of proposed foreign investments be focused on national security concerns.
Let me turn to the issue of climate. As we have prepared for the G8 summit and the major economies leaders' meeting, we have found increasing recognition that meeting the challenge of global climate change requires contributions from all the major economies, and that climate change policies must be compatible with economic growth and energy security.
In the view of the United States, and increasingly in the view of others, a post-2012 climate change agreement under the U.N. Framework Convention will be effective only if all major economies undertake greenhouse gas mitigation actions reflected as binding commitments in a future international agreement.
Now let me address some of the issues that could be discussed within the G8 and within the major economies meeting. We think that the G8 countries, due to their resources and capabilities, have crucial roles to play in addressing climate change. Technology change is key to achieving our interlinked objectives on climate change, energy security and economic development.
At the G8 summit, we are hopeful to see support for the launching of a clean technology fund that will facilitate the spread of clean technologies in the developing world. The United States has committed $2 billion to this fund. In addition, we would like to see G8 governments enhance and increase their funding for R&D involving clean energy technologies, which are the key to addressing climate change. In this regard the United States is investing more than $4 billion this year, and has requested the same for next, for research and development of technologies to reduce, avoid, or sequester greenhouse gas emissions.
This year alone, the United States alone will make available more than $40 billion in loan guarantees to support investment in innovative clean technologies. We also hope to find support for a wide range of actions to accelerate energy efficiency in G8 countries.
Now let me say a word about the major economies leaders' meeting. We think that the meeting, the major economies leaders' meeting, will be an important demonstration of leadership on climate change by the world's largest economies, developed and developing. In support of the U.N. negotiations, the major economies meetings, or MEM, process can advance some important themes: First, emphasizing that climate change is interlinked with energy security and economic development, getting all of the relevant parties -- all of the major economies that together constitute 80 percent of emissions and 80 percent of energy use, recognizing and discussing how these challenges interrelate.
We also think that leaders will be in a position to discuss the value and contribution of the major economies meetings in building confidence, identifying common ground and making recommendations to the broader U.N. negotiating group. We also think that it will be possible for leaders to spotlight the importance of developing and deploying technology in achieving large-scale emissions over the long term.
Building on the work of the leaders' representatives, -- and Jim Connaughton, our leaders' representative, is here -- the leaders of the major economies will, for the first time -- the leaders will meet for the first time to discuss as a group a range of issues, including the need for a long-term global goal; national mitigation goals and plans; concrete early actions, including the desirability of sectoral approaches, technology cooperation, forestry; intensified WTO discussions to address trade issues relevant to climate change; and improving measurement methods. We remain focused on finding outcomes that are ambitious, realistic and achievable, and we believe that others share this view.
And finally, as the President has made clear, the United States is prepared to sign on to binding international commitments if all major economies also are prepared to make binding international commitments, recognizing that what each economy commits to will differ according to its national circumstances, demographics, energy needs and other relevant factors.
I think I'll stop there, and while we have the benefit of Jim's presence, entertain any questions you may have on climate or the other topics.
Q Yes, I was interested to hear you talk about it's time for a long-term global goal. Is there any possibility at this summit on getting an agreement of a global goal of a 50-percent cut in greenhouse emissions by 2050?
MR. PRICE: Let me say that there's been a lot of discussion about whether the major economies leaders' meeting or G8 would establish a numerical long-term goal for emissions reductions. And we've had good discussion really in both fora. I think there's broad recognition among all major economies that having a long-term goal is desirable in pointing us all in the right direction and indicating the scale of the challenge we face.
There's also recognition that progress toward any long-term goal will require the efforts of all major economies, not just the G8. Indeed, with evidence mounting of rapidly rising emissions from emerging markets, action by the G8 alone will not be effective to address this problem. That's why we believe that all major economies and indeed all parties to the U.N. convention need to be part of the discussion on setting a long-term goal.
To us, it is not appropriate for the G8 countries alone to set a goal or to pick a numerical target and then seek to impose it on major developing economies. Those countries need to be part of the discussion, and they have been part of the discussion, through the major economies process.
The Bali Action Plan makes clear that in respect of the shared vision and long-term goal, it's for all to decide, and here leadership by all major economies is needed in coming up with that shared goal. What is important, and what has become important in these discussions, is that all major economies are moving toward a shared vision on how to achieve a low-carbon future, again recognizing that what each economy does will differ according to its national circumstances. And we're making progress on this in the major economies process.
We've discussed a range of ideas on a long-term vision and goal, including a 50-percent reduction by 2050, and have been exploring in the major economies process the implications of particular goals for both long term and mid term. We've advanced that discussion in the major economies process. We expect that the advances in this discussion at the leaders' rep level will be reflected in the discussion among the leaders themselves, and no doubt reflected in the declaration next week.
Critically, ultimate agreement in the U.N. on a long-term goal will gain confidence through the work we do together on important topics like global technology R&D, accelerating commercial deployment through clean technology, and the establishment of national mid-term goals and plans, and through work on sectoral approaches. These discussions, whether in the G8 or in the major economies process, in July are not the end of the story. These discussions will continue just as our work in the UNFCCC negotiations will continue, heading towards the meeting in Copenhagen in December 2009.
Q Given the President's expression of strong support for the dollar, do you expect exchange rates to take any role in the discussions, and will the United States move to try to get the other G8 members to support some kind of exchange rate stability statement?
MR. PRICE: I have no comment on that at this time.
Q It's not on the agenda, though, is it?
MR. PRICE: Issues relating to the global economy are on the agenda. And when leaders get together they're, of course, free to discuss whatever it is they wish to discuss.
Q Thank you, Mr. Price. Earlier this year, at the last World Bank-IMF meeting here, President Zoellick spoke of a new deal, of putting more money directly into countries hit hardest by the food crisis, notably Haiti. And he called for immediate and large aid. Now, twice I have asked in this briefing, has the United States weighed in in support of the World Bank's new deal? Will this come up at the G8 agenda? And has the position changed from the U.S. at all, and does it support it now?
MR. PRICE: Well, I think the issue of food aid will certainly be discussed among the leaders, and the United States is firmly supportive of the view that we need to meet immediate food aids. We have midterm developmental goals that we need to seek to achieve in terms of boosting agricultural activity. We've got infrastructure bottlenecks we've got to address, and we've got a set of policy questions that also need to be addressed. So the issues that you raise will certainly be discussed.
Q So do you back the World Bank's new deal, or not?
MR. PRICE: As I said, the 10-point plan outlined by President Bob Zoellick has many points that are in common with the U.S. approach, so I do not see any conflict at all between what the World Bank has suggested as the focus of considerations and what we are also focusing on.
Q Two questions on HIV/AIDS. First, the President's PEPFAR reauthorization is kind of stalled on Capitol Hill, so how can he go in there and ask the other G8 leaders to live up to their commitments when he's having trouble getting Congress to live up to his commitment here? And then, secondly, there have been some news reports that say the draft communique on HIV/AIDS doesn't even mention the $25 billion goal by 2010. And so it that -- is this communique acceptable to the President?
MR. PRICE: Let me start -- I'm not going to comment on the text of a draft communique that is not yet public. Let me say that there is no intention by any G8 member of which I am aware to backtrack on any of the pledges that have been made. And as I said, we believe it is important not only to make clear that we intend to fulfill our commitments, but to produce tangible evidence of that in the form of progress reports.
Q Can I just follow, though? Does it not weaken the President's hand that he doesn't go into the G8 with a PEPFAR reauthorization signed and ready to go?
MR. PRICE: I think the G8 and the African beneficiaries of PEPFAR know the commitment of this administration towards dealing with HIV/AIDS, as well as other diseases that have had such a debilitating effect on Africa. No country's commitment is greater than that of the United States.
Q You mentioned that oil prices are going to be on the agenda on Tuesday, I think. What is it that the G8 can actually do or say that could have any impact on oil prices?
MR. PRICE: I think leaders will want to discuss the issue of the rise in oil prices. They may wish to discuss outcomes from the recent conference. There's a whole set of issues that they may wish to talk about in connection with oil prices.
Q Two questions, if you will. The first: Why is it that the G8 and the major economies as a group is not a large enough group to reach some kind of understanding on a commitment to greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2050? What's the point, if not -- what's the point of the meeting?
MR. PRICE: Well, I think that there are a number of things that have come out of the major economies process; consideration of a long-term goal is one of them, and it's an important one. It will be up to the leaders, as they sit there and discuss, to see how far they wish to go on quantifying a long-term goal.
Q Are you suggesting they might actually reach one, then?
MR. PRICE: It is up to the leaders to, I think -- and then I'll invite Jim to comment -- the test of whether the MEM is or is not successful is not whether, at this stage in July, all 16 agree on a long-term goal. This process will continue. Certainly from our perspective, to reach an agreement on a long-term goal is desirable and something we think the major economies needs to work to. Whether it is in a position to do so at this point, or make other statements about the long-term goal, that remains to be seen.
Let me invite Jim Connaughton to offer a comment on this.
MR. CONNAUGHTON: Again, this goes to your -- the reason to get together. Actually, there's a quite dynamic agenda to the major economies meetings. A long-term goal is just one piece, but that's a long-term vision. The more essential aspects of the discussion actually center on each nation's development of their own midterm plans and goals, and the structure by which those can be reflected in a new international agreement. That goes to the core of what we're going to do now and in the mid-term.
In support of that, we've also initiated conversations about shared sectoral approaches, which is a bottom-up approach: How do we get our steel sector, our aluminum sector, our transportation sectors focused on the best outcomes that each of our nations can achieve? We do some things really well in America that aren't being done in India right now. If India can replicate that, they can make further progress on emissions. So this is a very practical set of conversations on pushing for best practices in key emitting sectors.
With that, then, comes the ability to do much more technology exchange on the technologies that are central to solving the problem. It's coal-produced power, it's personal transportation, and it's forestry and land use. These are the big drivers of climate-related emissions and activities. The major economies are the ones that engage in most of that activity. And so we've got very specific conversations going on on forestry, for example; a very specific conversation about more technology exchange on carbon capture and storage from coal. We're even talking about how do we get large-scale renewable projects going, and how do we get nuclear energy going at a pace that far exceeds the current level of investment. So these are very practical discussions that, really, this group of countries will make that happen.
Finally, you may have read a bit about just the issue of measuring emission reductions. We do pretty good about measurement in America and a few of the other developed countries, but we've got an accounting system on greenhouse gases that is not as precise as it could or should be, and even getting common ground on measures is going to be important in order to demonstrate the success of different policies.
So just note, you'll see, as a result of this conversation, a fairly expansive set of activities that this group has generated in the near term that will help lead to an agreement next year, but also that will sustain a whole variety of other activities in support of an agreement next year.
Q If I could add a second question, which is the reassurance the President will give to Japan that the U.S. will never forget the North Korean abductions. How does that square with the movement toward removing North Korea from the list of terrorist sponsors? Some members of the Japanese Diet believe that that is an abrogation of promise.
MR. JOHNDROE: I think you heard Dennis already address that, and you've heard Secretary Rice and the President address that last week when the North Koreans made their agreement and -- or presented their declaration --
Q They didn't address whether or not there was an agreement between the United States and Japan that the U.S. would, in fact, hold off on this until the abductions issue was resolved. Some Japanese think there was at least that understanding.
MR. JOHNDROE: No, what the U.S. position has always been -- and the Japanese and everyone in the six-party process are well aware of this -- is that the United States would remain committed to the resolution of the abduction issue. And I think President Bush and Prime Minister Fukuda had a very good conversation about this last week. Secretary Rice had a very good visit to Japan this past week, as well. And I think the Japanese government and the Japanese people should know that the United States will not forget the abduction issue. And so the Japanese and the DPRK are involved in discussions, as well, and we want to see those progress.
We'll take two more and then we have to go.
MR. PRICE: Mike, right?
Q Just one on the accountability issue that you talked about, Dan. I'm just a little bit unclear about specifically what the President is seeking at the summit from the other members. And secondly, is he -- are you going to be naming names of other countries that have not met their commitments? Can you tell us today who those countries are?
MR. PRICE: We, the United States, will not be naming names. We -- and we're not naming names today and we don't intend to name names. That's not the point. The point is for the G8 countries themselves to produce reports showing how each of them is meeting the pledges made in the G8.
Q But what animates the President's concern? There must be -- are the G8 collectively not meeting its commitment right now? Are we not on target?
MR. PRICE: I think it is fair to say that in respect of a certain number of these pledges, we are challenged in meeting them. As I said, the United States has met its commitments as made in past G8s. And it's important to demonstrate for the world and for the beneficiaries of these pledges that we are meeting the commitment; that we are not, year after year, simply making promises without looking back to see, are we fulfilling them. And we think it would enhance transparency, credibility and reliability of what the G8 says to institute such a mechanism in respect of their core pledges.
MR. JOHNDROE: One last question from Mark.
Q Dan, the President goes to this G8 as his last G8 summit and he goes with just seven months remaining in office. How does that alter the dynamic of what he expects to achieve at this summit?
MR. PRICE: I think the President has been fairly consistent in what he has sought in these G8 summits, in terms of addressing these critically important health and development issues in Africa; in addressing questions of global security; in addressing questions of the need to maintain open economies; the need to promote democracy and growth. I think that at this G8 the President's messages will be consistent with those that he has carried to each G8 since he's become President.
Q Is his clout diminished at all?
MR. PRICE: I certainly do not believe so. This is the President of the United States. He has stood for some very important principles and policies. He has been a catalyst within the G8 for a number of those principles and policies, and will continue to do so.
Thank you very much.
END 4:15 P.M. EDT