because Secretary Geithner is now headed off to the G20 finance minister’s meeting as a precursor to our G20 meeting. And what we specifically talked about was, number one, our economic recovery is linked up to the economic recovery of the rest of the world, and vice versa. Up until a few months ago, exports were one of the few bright spots in our economy.
The collapse of worldwide demand costs American jobs and American businesses. And so we want to work with other countries to make sure that they’re promoting the kinds of fiscal stimulus packages that can boost demand in their countries. It’s important that we don’t fall into a protectionist mentality so that each country, even as it’s stimulating, is also still promoting the kinds of trade that can help us all grow.
And part of the G20 agenda is also thinking about the adverse impact that this global economic slowdown is having on the poorest of the poor. I think we have all of the above — a moral, national security, and economic interest in making sure that people in those countries are not suffering even more than they were already suffering, because that can be profoundly destabilizing in all sorts of ways.
You know, there were a couple of questions about the border situation with Mexico. You know, if Mexico’s economy can not provide a living wage of any sort to a growing Mexican population, that obviously is going to put more pressure on us in terms of immigration, more people being pushed into the drug trade, and so on.
And that’s just one example. There are more severe examples of instability in places like North Africa in the face of drought or shortage of food supplies that can end up causing us real problems.
So figuring out how the developed countries, wealthier countries, even in the midst of hardship, can provide some relief and assistance to those countries, as well, I think is going to be very important.
All right? Okay, guys. You put me through the paces.
Q Thank you, much.
Q Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: I broke a sweat. (Laughter.)
Q You didn’t break a sweat. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, guys. Appreciate it. Take care.
Below is a list of the regional reporters who interviewed the President yesterday and the transcript of the interview.
Bruce Alpert, New Orleans Times-Picayune
Philip Brasher, Des Moines Register
Michael Coleman, Albuquerque Journal
Kevin Diaz, Minneapolis Star Tribune
Craig Gilbert, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Todd Gillman, Dallas Morning News
David Goldstein, Kansas City Star
Bob Keefe, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Stephen Koff, Cleveland Plain Dealer
Mark Matthews, Orlando Sentinel
Mary Orndorff, The Birmingham News
James O’Toole, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Mike Riley, Denver Post
Neil Simon, Richmond Times-Dispatch/Media General
Sylvia Smith, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
(Source: White House)