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World welcomes US budget deal but fears

First Published      Last Updated Oct 17 2013 02:37 pm
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Peter Trubowitz, professor of international relations at the London School of Economics, said the U.S. system is so dysfunctional that it is sending confusing signals abroad.

"It's just gotten to the point now that it's having lots of negative side effects," he said. "The effect is especially felt in Asia, where countries were already concerned about America's commitment to the region."

Many in Europe enjoyed poking fun at the apparently broken U.S. political system, but the pleasure of laughing at America's troubles seemed to fade as default neared.

The Tea Party movement got short shrift in many quarters, with the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper in Munich, Germany suggesting that Obama was lucky to have such feeble adversaries. But the paper said Obama had also fallen short of expectations.

"It is easy to remain the reasonable, serene statesman if you are dealing with concrete-headed , self-righteous nihilists like the Tea Party lawmakers," the influential newspaper said in a commentary. "It is easy to reject all negotiations if the other side acts like a crazy extortionist gang. Obama played the PR -game of guilt and innocence very cleverly. According to the polls, he wins hands down. But that is not the primary task of the president."

The newspaper said Obama had not handled his responsibility as president well despite his apparent victory over the Tea Party.

In Israel, a key American ally in the Middle East, commentators said the fight hurt America's overall image even though a deal had been reached before it was too late.

"There is no doubt that damage was done here to the image of American economic stability," Israel's economic envoy to Washington, Eli Groner, told Israel's Army Radio. "It's not good for the financial markets, not in the United States and not around the world."

In Brazil, a large holder of U.S. debt, there was certainly relief, but also concerns that it's just a temporary fix and more turbulence is ahead. Finance Minister Guido Mantega said the U.S. must come to a lasting answer to the "temporary solution" that was found. He added that as long as the threat of another shutdown exists, there will be "a sensation of insecurity, distrust and therefore damage to business in general."

Brazil's biggest newspapers carried headlines like O Globo's "Temporary Relief" and leading economic columnist Miriam Leitao summed up the mood in the daily.

"Nobody won. Everybody lost. The Obama government was held prisoner by blackmail. The Republican party allowed itself to be controlled by a radical minority and no longer represents the average American's way of thinking," Leitao wrote. "The government as a whole lost credibility and today there is more uncertainty surrounding the world economy."


McDonald reported from Beijing. AP Business Writers Kelvin Chan in Hong Kong, Youkyung Lee in Seoul and Kay Johnson in Mumbai and AP Writers Robert Reid and Frank Jordans in Berlin, Peter Enav in Taipei, Tim Sullivan in New Delhi, Tia Goldenberg in Jerusalem, Stan Lehman in Sao Paulo, Marco Sibaja in Brasilia, Brazil, and Cassandra Vinograd and Sylvia Hui in London contributed to this report.