September 11, 2001 : Attack on America
Statement By Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill At The Pre-g7 Press Conference; October 5, 2001

October 05, 2001
Statement By Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill
At The Pre-g7 Press Conference

Good morning. Tomorrow, I will host a meeting of the G7 Finance Ministers. We will focus on two major topics: First, our joint attack on the financial means and fundraising systems of terrorists and terrorist organizations and, second, on an assessment of economic conditions in our countries after September 11.

Our G7 partners have taken steps to shut off the funds that support terrorists, and they are eager to join us in broadening our efforts to include every nation in the world. Our Russian colleagues are joining part of tomorrow's meeting, and I look forward to their contribution.

The assault on the financial underpinnings of terrorism is a central element of the Bush Administration's determined effort to fight terrorists with every conceivable weapon. On September 23, President Bush signed an executive order authorizing the Treasury Department to freeze U.S. assets of designated individuals and organizations who fund terrorism. The President directed us to build an international coalition to disrupt terrorist fundraising. The Treasury Department is offering technical assistance to other nations to help them set up systems to identify suspicious transactions and accounts. We have had complete cooperation from our G7 partners and from all corners of the world. I thank all of them for their support.

The global economy was growing at a relatively low rate prior to September 11, but the US was beginning to see signs of recovery. The attacks of September 11 were a shock to our economy, abruptly halting activity in many sectors which will almost certainly result in a negative growth rate in the third quarter and a delayed recovery in the United States by a quarter or so. We are taking steps to speed our path to recovery. I remain confident that our economic fundamentals are strong and the US economy will excel in the long run.

As I work with our G7 partners, I will continue to emphasize the need to reinvigorate worldwide economic growth. Both emerging economies and the poorest countries have felt the impact of global slowdown. Clearly, the resumption of strong growth in the G7 economies will help support the resumption of strong growth around the globe.

Earlier this year in Rome, I told my G7 colleagues that I wanted to look at what all our countries could do to raise productivity and living standards. There is significant scope in all of our countries to raise our potential rates of growth. I am looking forward to a discussion of what each of us can do. The enactment of Trade Promotion Authority and the launching of a new round of multilateral trade negotiations in the WTO is an absolutely essential step in this regard not only for the G7 but for all countries.

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