THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Tokyo, Japan) ______________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release July 8, 1993
PRESS BRIEFING BY COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT DAVID GERGEN
Hotel Okura Tokyo, Japan
7:36 P.M. (L)
MR. GERGEN: We won't hold you much longer. I just would note with regard to the Russian aid package that we observed from this platform last night that there were two issues on which the President thought he should lean into a couple weeks ago. One was the GATT agreement on the access and the other was this question of Russian aid that led to the calls that we noted last night.
Now, the afternoon session, and I'll be very brief, the afternoon session today started around 3:20 p.m. It ended -- they concluded their business by 4:30 p.m. There were three elements to the discussion. The first was on unemployment. There was a -- what I can only say was a warm response to the President's initiative with regard to taking a harder look at structural unemployment questions in the G-7 nations.
Secretary Bentsen spoke up during that discussion and made the point that working together among the G-7 nations will make it easier for all the nations to take tough actions. He said if people know that this is not just for their -- that problems exist not just in their country but in other countries as well, they will provide more support for political leaders to move ahead.
The second issue under discussion -- and we'll have more on the structural unemployment, I'm sure, tomorrow -- the second issue under discussion was trade. And in that discussion, Ambassador Kantor reviewed many of the same points that he made from this podium to you earlier.
The third issue of discussion was the environment. And on that, the President spoke up with a fairly lengthy statement. And I'll relate that portion to you -- perhaps in more detail than you'd like, but I'd like to relate it to you -- he made the point that from the standpoint of the G-7 nations that his administration, the Clinton administration, differs more profoundly from the preceding administration on this issue differs more profoundly than on any other foreign policy issue.
He went through a number of steps that the administration has taken in the last few months, including the -- signature on the biological diversity convention, the national survey to map biological diversity. He noted that he expected to receive a plan shortly detailing how the U.S. will reach the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000, and said he looked forward to seeing plans from other countries; talked about significant increases in federal resources for energy conservation and renewable energy sources. He talked about developing an environmentally sound way to develop and protect sensitive old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest, protecting biological diversity while also ensuring jobs are protected. He talked about his national service plan, making provisions for more young people to work on environmental projects. But he also said that, quote, we have to do these things in economically responsible ways. There's no point in saying we're going to do it, we're going to make this progress on the environment unless we do it in a responsible economic way.
Now, the President went on from there to talk about population control. He said we must work together to stem the world's rapid population growth. But he said he was bitterly opposed to inhumane attempts in some parts of the world to impose mandatory population controls and mandatory abortion. He said that the Cairo convention or conference on population in September of '94 deserves full support. And he also said that population issues should include the enhanced role and status of women, improved health and nutrition for females, universal literacy and other measures which eliminate discrimination against women. So the population should be a key component of national, sustainable development plans. And finally he said, I hope we can all increase support for population programs.
Now, as I say, they completed their discussions on the three items that were on the agenda at 4:30 p.m. They will resume tomorrow morning. As you can see from the screen nearby, I gather the dinner is underway at the Imperial Palace.
Now, I'll entertain a couple of questions, but I think we've been here a long time, please.
QDavid, can you give us some idea of whether the work is completed on the economic communique? Are there any controversial -- any issues still to be decided?
MR. GERGEN: My sense is that the work is largely complete. Unlike the political communique, which led to the discussions last night as we talked about here before, there are no further open discussions planned. Now, they'll take up the political communique first thing tomorrow morning. So I think that's very much on track.
QWhat do you expect on structural unemployment? Just what coming out of today's discussions --
MR. GERGEN: Well, we'll have to wait and see, but I think the response that they had to it suggests that they're going to move forward in that area. But let's wait and see. The President made a proposal, you know, in San Francisco about having a conference in the United States. Secretary Bentsen called it in a session today, he called it a jobs summit. It was anticipated in the President's statement that it will be a gathering of ministers. There's some question -- and they've got it resolved just what ministers that would be. I would anticipate the President would be involved in that session in some fashion. And it would preparatory to a, perhaps a larger discussion, or another discussion at the G-7 summit next year.
QIs the President going to be the only head involved in the discussion, do you think?
MR. GERGEN: There's no anticipation now that other heads would come at this point, but we'll have to wait and see what the communique says tomorrow. But he has been pushing this steadily through the G-7 summit, so he was pleased by the response today.
QIs the President going to be meeting again with Prime Minister Miyazawa tomorrow?
MR. GERGEN: Well, this question about another meeting with the Prime Minister Miyazawa, for guidance, I will tell you that there has been a suggestion that they get together. It has not been firmed up yet. I think there's a good possibility that will happen. If it does it will be informal and it may well occur late in the day tomorrow. But it is not intended as a negotiation and rather it is intended as a less formal event.
Q-- going to reach an agreement on the bilateral framework?
MR. GERGEN: On the framework? Well, those discussions are still underway and I have nothing new to report to you on that. But I think we'll probably know by the end of the day tomorrow whether that will be reached here in Tokyo, whether there will be further discussions that stretch beyond this visit.
QAre the prospects any better or worse that you'll have --
MR. GERGEN: I think it's very, very hard to assess that at the moment. I've asked that question and talked to various people involved with it. And I would just have to tell you at this moment I think it's -- we're very much in the posture we were a couple of days ago. I just don't think we know.
Q-- totally unrelated to the negotiations? Is there absolutely no correlation between them getting together for dinner and the success or the progress that's being made?
MR. GERGEN: I don't think there is a serious connection at this point. I think there's a good chance that they will get together, but it is not firm yet, and I don't think it will depend upon whether -- the decision of whether they conclude an agreement or not. But those talks are underway. There have been a variety of discussions today. You know, yesterday they talked up until about 3:00 and there have been discussions extending through the day today on it.
QThree o'clock in the morning?
MR. GERGEN: No, I'm sorry, 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon yesterday.
QWhat's the reason for the dinner, and who invited the idea of dinner? Whom invited whom?
MR. GERGEN: You mean, if they have a supper or something like that? There was a suggestion from the Prime Minister that they might get together, but it was not fleshed out and they left it open-ended about whether they would do it or not.
You know, we do have a press conference scheduled for early tomorrow evening. I think the time is around 8:15 p.m., I don't have that. Somebody could correct me if I'm wrong on that.
Q-- ask about another session?
MR. GERGEN: It's just it might be -- it might be good to get together. But it as not firmed up.
QDid they give a reason? Do you have an understanding of why they thought it might be helpful?
MR. GERGEN: I don't think that that was pursued in quite that spirit. The Prime Minister has been the host, after all, for the occasion. They started off together -- early -- and it might be a chance to say a few more words together. You know, the President found the Prime Minister, as we've said here repeatedly, very responsive.
QDavid, you don't think there's some relationship? First the --
MR. GERGEN: I'm not denying -- of course, there's always a relationship. I was asked whether one was contingent upon the other. I don't want to --
QThe Prime Minister sends a letter last Friday and makes it a personal request that they meet, that the negotiators resume meeting; and now the Prime Minister has suggested a dinner.
MR. GERGEN: Well, that suggestion came a couple of days ago.
Q-- many drafts on the economic communique that contain a lot of boring stuff that's pretty predictable. Is that likely what's going to come out tomorrow? (Laughter.)
MR. GERGEN: It's all in the eyes of the beholder.
QWell, will there be any surprises from what was printed even as early as this morning?
MR. GERGEN: Well, I think we just dealt with one of them a few minutes ago.
MR. GERGEN: I'm not aware of --
QWhen the President speaks about reducing CO2 emissions by 2000 to 1990 levels, does that mean capping them so they're not going to go back up again, is that the idea?
MR. GERGEN: Well, we've dealt with that in other forums. Let's deal with that later, if you don't mind.
QI have two questions. First of all, what's the U.S. pushing for specifically in the declaration?
MR. GERGEN: What's the U.S. fishing for?
QPushing for. (Laughter.)
QOr fishing for, whichever -- (laughter).
MR. GERGEN: The President came with a long agenda that revolved around a question of economic growth. That's been the heart of, you know, what he's been interested in, growth and jobs. And that went to three issues. It went to the trade issue, and we've gotten considerable progress here on the market access. It went to the question of macroeconomic coordination and the additional issue which he has put on the agenda summit here about the structural unemployment problem that is now facing Europe and people wonder about whether it may be creeping into the United States. Those have been the three pillars of what the President wanted to see reflected in the agenda coming out of the summit.
I think we've stretched on here. I don't anticipate -- someone asked again about the readout after tonight's dinner. I see no particular reason to do a readout.
We have an event later tonight. You know, the President is doing a short statement on the radio with regard to the floods in the United States. And I think you're aware that there is a -- I think it was announced here earlier there will be a pool spray for that occasion. That will occur shortly after he gets back this evening. But otherwise we won't have anything more for you until -- we'll have to let you know about the schedule for tomorrow because there are a lot of other events, as you know, going on. And then you can anticipate this press conference tomorrow night. Thank you.
END7:50 P.M. (L)