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March 16, 1994 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-03-16

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Downtown
sees little
impact from
G7 meeting
FROM STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
DETROIT - With delegates at-
tending private dinners, many down-
town merchants said yesterday they
picked up negligible business from
the international jobs conference.
But Mayor Dennis Archer pointed
to the longer-term effects: the chance
to redefine Detroit's image through
positive international exposure. And
longtime residents said the attention
sent ripples of hope throughout the
much-maligned city.
Vice President Al Gore said the
Group of Seven delegates were "lit-
erally overwhelmed" by the treat-
ment they got.
"The hospitality, the extra mile
that everybody went on every occa-
sion, the quality of the services deliv-
ered, the meal last night, the theater,
the facility here, every aspect of it
was first-class plus," Gore said.
"And I made the suggestion jok-
ingly in the closing conference that
there seemed to be a general impres-
sion that all international meetings
from now on ought to be held in
Detroit. There was spontaneous ap-
proval of that suggestion."
But in the short term, business
was slow at Pegasus Taverna in
Detroit's Greektown section, a few
blocks from the Cobo Hall confer-
ence site. Manager John Pappas at-
tributed that to conference partici-
pants being hosted elsewhere.
"We've seen very little," said Greg
Drewno, general manager of
Fishbones Rhythm Kitchen Cafe.
"We did see some of them for dinner,
but not near what we expected.
"We think the private banquets
really hurt us."
Just a few blocks from Cobo Hall,
a shoe-shine man said the gathering
didn't help him.
"We didn't get none of that ac-
tion," said Howard Burt, shining
shoes at Dominick's Shoe Repair.
"Not a singletary one."
Parking spaces were available
middday yesterday at Mobile Park-
ing Systems a half dozen blocks from
the conference center. Asad Khan
said he hadn't seen anyone from the
Group of Seven meeting.
"Not on this street. Not in this
area," he said.

The Michigan Daily -Wednesday, March 16, 1994 - 12
PP Reporters' Notebook
Free meals draw local ire

G7 delegates and staff aides mingled
with reporters outside the media filing
center at Cobo Hall throughout the con-
ference. They were all attracted by the
free food provided by the Detroit Host
Committee. The food tables were re-
plenished throughout the day, much to
the chagrin of area restaurant owners.
The Westin Hotel, where the min-
isters and the press stayed, and the
Omni International Hotel, where
President Clinton and other White
House officials and staff stayed, were
packed. But the hotel restaurants were
deserted during the conference.
Westin managing director Larry
Alexander said hotel officials didn't
learn until late Monday afternoon that

the more than 1,000 reporters in town
for the meeting and the foreign digni-
taries and their entourage, had been
given free meals.
N. .
Laid-off auto worker Michael F.
Smith decided to take the advice of
top economists and auto executives at 0
a forum preceding the international
jobs conference. Just get out there and
apply for a job, they told him.
So Smith spent all day trying to do
that. But he was turned away from two
auto plants - he couldn't get past the
guards. Three offices told him they
didn't know of any openings.
- By Daily Staff Reporter
James R. Cho A

JONATHAN LURIE/Daily
Paul Martin, Canada's finance minister (left) and Lloyd Axworthy, minister of human resources, share their thoughts
about the G7 jobs summit at a press conference in Detroit yesterday.
Down the hai, coulntries sum up

By JAMES R. CHO
and DAVID SHEPARDSON
DAILY STAFF REPORTERS
In the German delegation room,
members smoked cigarettes in bla-.
tant defiance of the ban imposed
throughout the building.
But no one noticed.
As the United States' delegation's
press conference was standing room
only, the other six nations assembled
did their best to speak to their own
countries media and the occasional
U.S. reporter that wandered in their
conference rooms down the hall.
The Germans, in their conference
wrap-up, paid special notice to their
irritation with what they called Presi-
dent Clinton's "preoccupation with
domestic affairs."

"During his speech to the G7, he
mentioned every Congressman. Con-
gressman 1. Congressman 2. And so
on. But he did not mention one mem-
ber of the G7," said Guenter Rexrodt,
minister for economics. Still, I think it
was a productive conference."
Rexrodt also said the German gov-
ernment had no intention of lowering
interest rates, a move the Clinton ad-
ministration has encouraged to spur
global economic growth.
Italian Treasurery Minister Piero
Barucci stood in front of olive trees
brought from Italy for the conference.
"They remind me of home and
why we came so far to talk about jobs
for Italians," Barucci said through a
translator.
The Canadian delegation had the

highest number of ranking officials
attending with four cabinet ministers.
Finance Minister Paul Martin re-
lated the serious unemployment prob-
lem in Canada, the second highest
among the G7 nations behind France,
to its burdgeoning budget deficit.
Martin noted that its extensive wel-
fare programs needs revamping.
"Many of the young unemployed
today have settled into the security of
the social safety net instead ofconsid-
ering retraining programs."
Ambassador to Canada and former
Michigan Gov. James Blanchard,
present throughout the conference,
said, "We are quick to take Canada
for granted. Many people don't know
that Canada is our largest trading part-
ner."

CONFERENCE
Continued from page 1.
In the morning, Labor Secretary
Robert Reich held a session on "La-
bor Markets, Investment in Human
Capital, and Social Safety Net."
The focus of the discussion yes-
terday morning was on the labor prac-
tices of the individual countries and
how to extend a lifeline of education
and training to low-skilled workers
whose livelihoods are most threat-
ened by technology.
Commerce Secretary Ronald H.
Brown noted that the old economic
saying that a rising tide raises all
boats does not necessarily apply to
everyone. "There are a lot of people
in our economies who don't have
boats or whose boats have holes in the
bottom," he said.
They agreed on whattroubled them,
but not on what to do about it. "We
agreed that there is no single solution,
no one idea or action that will work for
every country," Bentsen said.
The U.S. delegation, which in-

cluded Bentsen, Brown, Reich and
Laura D'Andrea Tyson, chair of the
president's Council of Economic Ad-
visers, said it had learned valuable
lessons from the other countries.
Sounding at times like college stu-
dents, Reich described the summit.
"Every one of us had pencil and
paper out and we were writing very
furiously," Reich said.
But just what it was they wrote
down on their paper was unclear. At
the end of the conference, members
of the U.S. delegation were at a loss
when asked to share precisely what
they had learned, offering only vague
answers.
Although administration officials
have been playing down expectations
for the conference for weeks, they agreed
that the rare inclusion of laborministers
into the G7 process at the same level as
finance ministers marked a significant
turning point in the effort to coordinate
international policy.
There was, however, no apparent
plan to either include any of the labor
ministers at the Naples meeting or have
a follow-up conference with them.

OUTCOME
Continued from page 1
by others as a "hopeful beginning."
Which one was it? Probably, a little
of both.
"Let's face it. This conference was
never going to be anything more than a
bunch of discussions," said Secretary of
Commerce Ronald Brown. "But what
we take from these discussions are in-
valuable pieces of advice and recogni-
tion of the new global emphasis on re-
employment and retraining."
Illustrating the clear difference be-

tween this and past conferences, the G7
issued no communiqu6.
"Through our informal talks, we
had some very frank discussions about
what has worked and what hasn't, said
Treasurey Secretary Lloyd Bentsen in
his summary statement.
But from the president on down,
politicians emphasized the very real
historic nature of the conference.
Since the Washington Naval Con-
ference of 1922, nations have called
conferences to discuss military con-
flicts and full-fledged wars. But never
to address economic problems. And
never to focus on the unemployed.

It is a diplomatic feat to get a group
of nations together anytime. Leaders
took pains to emphasize that they all are
hurting economically - specifically in
dealing with structural unemployment.
But they shied away from making con-
cessions or promises.
Of the members of the G7, about 35
million are unemployed, higher than
any time since the Great Depression.
The treatment is new job-retraining
programs, not government mandates,
members agreed.
And Clinton aides made note of
their interest in slowing the rate of col-
lege graduate unemployment, which is

about 3 percent.
Labor Secretary RobertReich talked
at length about the "student to work"
transition. He praised Germany's ap-
prenticeship program, but stopped short
of endorsing it.
"We've got to recognize the grow-
ing difficulty students have getting their
first jobs out of college," he said. "Is
there a better way to do that? There
should be."
U.S. Ambassador James Blanchard
reiterated Clinton's focus on young
people and their search for jobs.
Blanchard said the conference should
marked a new world.

"Young people have to be pleased.
International leaders came to Michigan
to discuss jobs, not wars or bombing.
It's a brave new world," he said, in a
perhaps unknowing reference to Aldous
Huxley's book, "Brave New World,"
in which all work is done by proto-type
humans in harsh factory like condi-
tions.
And while the United States moves
away from the labor-intensive factories
to the Clinton proposal for streamlined
"one-stop shopping centers" for job
retraining and modernized production
Huxley's words become increasingly
relevant.

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