Washington shutdown could weaken U.S. globally, warns Kerry

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at a news conference at the APEC ministerial meeting in Bali. (Reuters)

As the U.S. government shutdown went into a fifth day, Secretary of State John Kerry warned on Saturday that the lingering political stalemate could weaken the country globally.

Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Indonesia’s Bali. Kerry expressed his concern as Congress seemed no closer to resolving the impasse.

“If it were prolonged, or repeated, people would begin to question the willingness of the United States to stay the course and its ability to, but that’s not the case and I don’t think it will be the case,” Kerry told journalists.

The crisis has closed swathes of government departments and sent hundreds of thousands of federal workers home on unpaid leave.

Kerry was acting as stand-in for President Barack Obama who cancelled his Asia tour because of the stalemate in Washington over the government shutdown.

“Do not mistake this momentary episode in American politics as anything more than a moment of politics. This is an example of the robustness of our democracy," Kerry added.

The shutdown is rocking the U.S. government barely 12 days away from a far more challenging fiscal hurdle -- the need to raise the U.S. debt ceiling or suffer a catastrophic credit default.

(With AFP and Reuters)
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:41 - GMT 06:41
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