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Obama: 'Hard-won consensus' at G-20

By the CNN Wire Staff
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • U.S. President Barack Obama touts a "hard-won consensus"
  • Leaders pledge to refrain from the competitive devaluation of currencies
  • Obama's trip is part of a 10-day Asia tour to strengthen U.S. ties with the region

For more on President Obama's tour of Asia, check out CNN's White House blog, The 1600 Report.

Seoul, South Korea (CNN) -- The G-20 summit wrapped up Friday in South Korea, with leaders of the world's top economies acknowledging that "risks remain," as some countries enjoy strong growth and others muddle along.

U.S. President Barack Obama touted a "hard-won consensus" on steps to monitor world trade and economic recovery, aimed at balancing growth globally.

"Uncoordinated policy actions will only lead to worse outcomes for all," the leaders said in a joint declaration.

At the summit, they agreed to steps that include moving toward more market-determined exchange rate systems and refraining from the competitive devaluation of currencies.

It remains to be seen how such steps play out, as countries struggle with their own political and economic priorities, however. They're aimed at limiting economic volatility around the world.

Obama highlighted summit priorities such as economic growth, deficit reduction and the need for economies to better balance imports and exports.

Obama's trip is part of a 10-day Asia tour that is aimed at strengthening the United States' trade and military ties with a region that has thrived economically.

Mixed results at the G-20
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The tale of twin sisters
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Uncoordinated policy actions will only lead to worse outcomes for all
--from G-20 joint declaration
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During the summit, American and South Korean negotiators failed to reach an agreement on a new trade pact, creating new delays and obstacles for an accord that the White House has said could translate to an additional $10 billion in U.S. exports and 70,000 American jobs.

A long-running dispute over U.S. access to Korea's auto and beef markets was largely responsible for the failure, according to the White House.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has agreed to send a team to Washington to continue work on the trade pact.

Among the hurdles negotiators are trying to overcome: Korean conglomerates known as chaebols, which have kept a firm grasp on the union-strong country's marketplace, drawing complaints from foreign companies that have tried to do business there.

After the G-20, Obama was to head to Japan late Friday afternoon. He is to attend the APEC summit, which will be held in Yokohama on Saturday and Sunday.

Twenty-one countries form the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, which focuses on economic coordination in the Asia Pacific region.

Grappling with a troubled U.S. economy, the Obama administration has highlighted the strengthening of economic and military ties during the president's Asia tour. Obama started his trip with a three-day stay in India, before heading to Indonesia and then to South Korea.

In India, Obama unveiled about $10 billion in contracts for U.S. exports to India. It is Asia's third-largest economy and one of the world's few growth markets.

In Indonesia, the president focused on the two countries' shared principles of unity and tolerance when he delivered a highly anticipated speech at the University of Indonesia. His visit was long-awaited Indonesia, where he spent four years as a child.

In South Korea, Obama met with a roster of world leaders such as Chinese President Hu Jintao and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. They represent economies that export much more than they consume.

Obama also paid tribute to American troops while he was in South Korea. He praised South Korean troops and Americans who fought during the 1950-53 Korean War.

In Japan, he'll attend the APEC summit, attend a leaders retreat and visit the Great Buddha of Kamakura.

The president will head back to the United States on Sunday.

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