- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 20, 2003

ASSOCIATED PRESS
New Treasury Secretary John W. Snow will discuss the benefits of President Bush's proposed new round of tax cuts on the global economy at his first international economic meeting this weekend in Paris, a department official said yesterday.
John Taylor, Treasury's undersecretary for international affairs, said Mr. Snow will tell America's major economic allies that the administration believes the new $1.3 trillion in tax cuts, including the proposed elimination of taxes on stock dividends, will bolster the lagging U.S. recovery and provide support to a struggling global economy.
Mr. Snow, who took office earlier this month, and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan will participate in two days of talks, starting tomorrow, with their counterparts from Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada.
Mr. Taylor said Mr. Snow would use his first meeting of the Group of Eight the world's seven largest industrial countries, plus Russia to discuss Mr. Bush's jobs and growth package, which includes $674 billion in tax cuts aimed to provide a short-term boost to the U.S. economy. Additional reductions would bring the 10-year cost to $1.3 trillion.
Mr. Greenspan dealt Mr. Bush's tax-cut program a blow last week when he testified before Senate and House committees that he was not convinced that the U.S. economy needed any further stimulus to guarantee stronger growth this year.
Asked about the Fed chairman's testimony, Mr. Taylor noted that Mr. Greenspan did voice support for the long-term benefits of eliminating the double taxation of stock dividends.
"Relations are good" between the administration and Mr. Greenspan, he said. "I suspect there will be a candid discussion of these issues, but it will reflect the sense in which there is mutual support for the policies that are being followed both on the monetary and fiscal side."
Mr. Taylor said the subject of a war in Iraq and its effect on the global economy also would be discussed in Paris, but the talk would be part of a broader exploration of what each government should be doing to help bolster economic growth in the face of a variety of threats.
The administration hopes to hear how Japanese officials are planning to deal with that country's decade-long economic slump, Mr. Taylor said, and wants to know about Europe's efforts to bolster its sagging economy.
Mr. Snow will stop first in London for discussions today with top finance officials in the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair, a key supporter in the U.S. confrontation with Iraq. Mr. Snow will meet with British Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown.


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