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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 18, 1994




As we observe World Trade Week, 1994, we find our Nation well-positioned to compete in the 1990s. Our economy is the strongest in the industrialized world. Our work force is second to none. Our system of higher education is unequalled. And our people are more optimistic -- and have reason to be.

Yet, success in world markets is not automatic -- it requires planning and effort.

"U.S. Exports Equal U.S. Jobs," the theme of World Trade Week, illustrates why the United States must make the push to increase the involvement of American business in international markets. Exports have become a critical engine of our Nation's economic progress. In the past 5 years, exports of goods and services have been responsible for more than 40 percent of U.S. economic growth.

Today one in every five manufacturing jobs is linked to exports. Exports of goods and services support some 10.5 million jobs. And exports lead to better paying jobs. American workers producing for export earn 17 percent more than the overall average wage.

The intersection of domestic and international business makes it more important than ever to emphasize all of the factors that make America competitive. Sustainable economic growth is possible only if we solve those societal problems that keep our people from achieving their best.

The first order of business for this Administration was to improve the economic climate at home, and this continues to be my priority. We have made great strides in bringing the Federal budget deficit under control. Fiscal restraint has prompted a surge in business investment. We are in the process of implementing a policy that encourages private and public partnerships. We have begun the difficult job of helping the defense industry to convert to a more commercial business. And we are devoting more attention to secondary education and to training and retraining our work force.

This Administration is working vigorously to secure a health care plan for all Americans, and we have proposed a reform of our welfare system. We have major initiatives underway to fight crime and drug trafficking.

These steps toward healthy economic growth and a more secure society represent the essential underpinning for America to compete in the world economy.

However, U.S. companies must have fair access to international markets. We have placed a high priority on reducing trade barriers abroad, and we are making progress. The North American Free Trade Agreement creates a vibrant, integrated market on our own continent and opens up great possibilities for an even larger free trade area in the future. The successful conclusion of the Uruguay Round of GATT trade negotiations after 7 years of hard bargaining now should lead to a significant expansion of global trade.

Partnership between the United States Government and the private sector is necessary if we are to reach the economic goals outlined early in my Administration. The Federal Government is committed to being a constructive partner by creating a favorable environment for the U.S. private sector to conduct business at home and abroad. However, the main responsibility for developing overseas markets lies with the private sector. It is up to business to take the risks, but the risks bring the right to reap the rewards.

Our workers will reap the rewards in the form of many new jobs, because exports can be our number one method of creating high-wage jobs.

All this leads to only one conclusion: We must thrive globally to secure a healthier economy, and it is in the interest of business, workers, and the entire population to do so. We must sell more in the global marketplace -- and we are continuing to do our best to expand that marketplace for American goods. We must also promote trade in a way that benefits workers and encourages sustainable development.

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 22, 1994, 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 eighteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighteenth.


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