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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release January 19, 1993

Each year, World Trade Week allows us to highlight the importance of international trade, which links the United States with other nations in partnership for economic prosperity. It is also a time to recognize the importance of our efforts to stimulate domestic economic growth through the sale of American products and services abroad.

For Americans, trade has buttressed our Nation's standing as the world's largest and most productive economy. Exports support millions of American jobs and account for nearly one-sixth of the employment in the U.S. manufacturing and agricultural sectors. In fact, each $1 billion of American merchandise exports supports nearly 19,000 domestic jobs. As a result, companies have been formed, factories built, and new industries created. And these export-related jobs are good ones, paying on average 17 percent more than the overall average wage.

Indeed, it is our ability to modernize and expand our industrial production that serves as the foundation for export growth, allowing us to develop and produce quality products while identifying marketing opportunities at home and abroad. Our ingenuity and our determination to be the best make America's products and services among the world's most competitive.

For U.S. products and services to succeed in an increasingly competitive global marketplace, however, we must be equally competitive at home and abroad. Recently, this Administration announced a broad new economic strategy to enhance government/industry cooperation in creating new technologies. Through commercialization, these technologies will be made available to smaller companies. Small and medium-size businesses create half the new jobs in this country and twofifths of our Gross National Product, and many of these firms will seek to increase exports of their products. The hightechnology sector, which employed about 10 million people and accounted for more than $100 billion worth of U.S. exports in 1992, is crucial to advancing the industrial competitiveness of the United States and assuring us of an edge in world markets.

Creating a climate for American exports requires not only a strong domestic economy, but also free and fair access for U.S. products to markets abroad. This Administration, therefore, is building a trade agenda that will allow U.S. exports to compete on a level playing field with our trading partners.

A top trade-related priority is the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which will link the United States, Canada, and Mexico into a single market of 360 million consumers currently spending $6 trillion annually. Mexico, once economically isolated from the United States, has emerged as our Nation's third largest trading partner. With supplemental agreements to address environmental and labor issues, NAFTA will be a positive force for creating American jobs.

In addition to our focus on the NAFTA negotiations, this Administration is determined to complete the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) Uruguay Round agreement. GATT is an agreement binding more than 100 nations to a mutual interest in strengthening the global environment for trade. As part of these negotiations, this Administration is seeking provisions that ensure free and fair trade for American industry, as well as effective bilateral dispute settlement mechanisms. A successful Uruguay Round would lower tariff and nontariff barriers to manufactured products and other commodities, thereby increasing cumulative world output by more than $5 trillion and cumulative U.S. output by more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years.

While advancing our Nation's interests through the GATT negotiations, the United States and other countries must provide financial assistance to ensure key political and economic reforms in Russia and the former Soviet republics. By carefully targeting this assistance, our Nation will not only encourage progress toward global stability, arms control, and nonproliferation, but also help create an environment in which trade with that region can flourish.

Creating a secure and prosperous global environment for trade also hinges on continued U.S. efforts to benefit from the great opportunities that are available in the high-growth East Asian and Latin American markets, two of the fastest growing regions for American exports.

Although thousands of U.S. companies continue to boost their profit margins through exports, thousands of other American firms have yet to market their goods abroad. In fact, just 15 percent of American companies account for 85 percent of our Nation's exports. With U.S. merchandise exports totaling more than $448 billion in 1992, "World Trade Week" reminds us of the merits of international commerce and the vast export opportunities yet to be explored by American business.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim the week beginning May 16, 1993, as World Trade Week. I invite the people of the United States to join in appropriate observances to reaffirm the potential of international trade for creating prosperity for all.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and seventeenth.


/U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/