Mon, Jan 26, 2004 - Page 4 News List

US charm offensive falls flat at Davos

TRYING TO MOVE ON Washington's tone at this year's meeting has been more conciliatory, but critics are still wary of the administration's inclination to shoot first


Critics from the Muslim world branded the US as hypocritical for preaching the spread of democracy in the Middle East while continuing to back Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Even the widely touted economic recovery in the US attracted suspicion from officials and economic pundits alike.

Stephan Roach, chief economist at Morgan Stanley, said the Americans were getting the headlines for what is in some respects an "artificial recovery" compared to the real growth registered in countries like China.

"We are doing it at the cost of lots of structural imbalances and a lack of job recreation and an economy that is running on cash cuts and debt," he said.

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