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Obama says across-the board cuts are not inevitable

U.S. President Barack Obama talks against automatic budget cuts scheduled to take effect next week, while in the South Court Auditorium in t
U.S. President Barack Obama talks against automatic budget cuts scheduled to take effect next week, while in the South Court Auditorium in t

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Friday he does not believe it is inevitable that Congress will let deep automatic spending cuts go into effect March 1.

Obama and congressional Republicans are at loggerheads over government spending and taxes, and do not appear to be on track to prevent the cuts, known as sequestration, from going into effect as scheduled.

Obama said that if allowed to take place, the reductions would slow the U.S. economy, with a ripple effect on growth around the world. However, the spending cuts are not likely to cause a shock to the world's financial system, he said during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

(Reporting By Jeff Mason, Roberta Rampton and Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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