NEW YORK Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on Wednesday ramped up his warnings to the United States about the U.S. failure to tackle its deficit, telling New York's business elite the fate of the world's economic recovery rides on what Washington lawmakers decide.

Building on a warning Flaherty delivered in May when he gave the same message directly to Republican lawmakers in Washington, Flaherty insisted there is "no time to waste" if financial markets are to retain confidence in the U.S. government's ability to manage its fiscal affairs.

"What's required is a solid plan to eliminate deficits, reduce debt and create a cushion against the next global economic shock, combined with the determination to deliver results on time and as promised," Flaherty said in a speech delivered during a luncheon at the New York Yacht Club.

"It's a tall order, but it's doable," he said.

Flaherty's warning echoes that of U.S. federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who warned the U.S. Congress Tuesday it must act "in a timely manner" to reduce the federal budget deficit.

U.S. debate is currently raging over whether to lift the "debt ceiling or borrowing level from its current $14.3 trillion threshold.

But U.S. President Barack Obama also set a June deadline for an agreement with Congress on long-term deficit reduction.

U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden, who is conducting those talks with a bipartisan group of congressional lawmakers, said this week he is confident they will strike a budget deal by July 4 that would both raise the debt ceiling and reduce future budget deficits by "well beyond" $1 trillion over 10 to 12 years.

In his speech, Flaherty stopped short of stating whether he thought an agreement along the lines Biden has projected would be enough - but he spelled out the consequences for Canada and for the world if it is not.

"The health of Canada's economy and of the world's, for that matter depends greatly on the fiscal decisions being made in this country," he said.

Flaherty said his advice was given in the spirit of helping a friend in need.

"Rising up to this global challenge would be just the latest example of actions our two nations have taken to ensure a brighter collective future," he said.

"I have no doubt that there will be many more."

Flaherty said that the benefits for everyone in North America would be "immeasurable" if the United States successfully overcomes its current deficit crisis.

Flaherty delivered his remarks as part of a wider speech on the state of the Canadian economy in the wake of the federal budget passing this week.
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Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Flaherty said in a speech delivered during a luncheon at the New York Yacht Club.

Jim, Jim, Jim.

You're supposed woo the VOTERS not the BOATERS.