Clinton, in Hong Kong, Reassures Asian Investors

Posted July 25th, 2011 at 3:35 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is seeking to reassure Asian investors that American legislators will come up with a deal to prevent the country from defaulting on its financial obligations.

Clinton also said she is “confident” the Congress will work with President Barack Obama on a plan to improve the country’s long-term fiscal outlook. Officials released her remarks ahead of a speech to business leaders in Hong Kong.

After the speech, Clinton traveled to neighboring Shenzhen, China, for a meeting with State Councilor Dai Bingguo. That discussion was expected to deal with the possibility of renewed six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear future, as well as the fight in Washington over whether to authorize new borrowing.

Congressional leaders had hoped to announce a deal before the opening of Asian markets Monday but seemed as far apart as ever. Asian markets opened down less than 1 percent while gold hit a record high and the U.S. dollar fell against the yen.

In her remarks in Hong Kong, Clinton said fights like the one going on in Washington have been a constant factor in U.S. political life since the founding of the republic. She also noted the United States has recovered from previous economic crises.

The U.S. administration calculates it will not be able to pay its bills after August 2 unless Congress raises its current limit on government borrowing. The Republican Party is demanding deep spending cuts before the limit is raised, while Democrats have argued there should also be new sources of revenue.

Before her address, Clinton met with Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang. She traveled to Hong Kong from Bali, Indonesia, where she attended the annual ASEAN Regional Forum.