Canada sees U.S. rejecting global regulator at G20

Wed Apr 1, 2009 10:09am EDT
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada believes that the U.S. and some emerging markets will not accept a global financial regulator, Prime Minister Stephen Harper told Sky News in an interview on Wednesday ahead of a G20 summit in London.

"I don't think the Americans and some of the emerging markets will accept a global regulator. These are, after all, sovereign countries, so I think we've got a system that's workable and respects sovereignty," he said.

Harper said a compromise solution for G20 leaders who appear to be split over the issue of financial regulation would be for strengthened systems of domestic regulation complemented by international peer reviews of those regulations.

"This is the only realistic approach," he said.

France and Germany issued warnings against weak compromises from G20 leaders at their meeting on Thursday as they seek an accord to haul the world out of recession and tighten regulations.

But Harper downplayed the potential for discord between the U.S. on the one hand, and some of the European leaders calling for stricter regulations.

"Based on the conversations I've had, I think there's more convergence than has been let on in the media," he said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Harper called on the G20 leaders to "overact" and take dramatic action.

"I think there would be a risk of underacting. Let's assume that we need dramatic action, let's do it," he said.

(Reporting by Louise Egan in Ottawa and David Ljunggren in London; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)

<p>Prime Minister Stephen Harper is pictured during an interview with Reuters in Washington, March 29, 2009. REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang</p>