Efforts to fix the global economy are running into trouble ahead of next month's summit of major industrial powers in London.
U.S. and European finance officials disagree over the need for additional stimulus packages to help revive the economy. And a top British official is complaining about difficulties in dealing with the U.S.
British Cabinet Secretary Gus O'Donnell said Tuesday that coordinating with the U.S. Treasury Department was "difficult" because "there is nobody there," a criticism of the Obama administration's failure to fill key posts in the department.
However, Britain and the U.S. may be forging ahead with a plan to boost global trade.
The "Wall Street Journal" reports the two countries will unveil a trade plan at the G-20 summit of leading industrialized and developing countries on April 2nd.
The newspaper says the plan will call for countries to set aside billions of dollars to finance more global trade.
About half of the money would be used by G-20 countries to boost their own exports, while the other half would be used to finance exports from the world's poorer nations.
The global recession has been affecting countries that depend on exports to drive their economies.
China, the world's third largest economy, said Wednesday that its exports fell by 26 percent in February. And Germany, one of the world's largest exporters, said orders for manufactured goods fell eight percent in January compared to the previous month.
Meanwhile, two new polls of economists and financial professionals find most are still pessimistic about the global economy.
A Reuters' poll of 250 economists from around the world finds many think the recession will continue well into 2010 with unemployment rates hitting new, multi-year highs.
The second poll by the Bloomberg news agency (the Bloomberg Professional Global Confidence Index) finds confidence in the U.S. and European economies is waning.