THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Miami, Florida) ______________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release December 11, 1994
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
James Knight Center Miami Convention Center Miami, Florida
12:50 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Prime Minister, President Zedillo, President Frei: I would like to begin my remarks by expressing my appreciation on behalf of the United States to the leaders and the people of Mexico and Canada for being such good partners in NAFTA this last year. This has been a very, very good deal for the United States of America.
Beginning with our agreement with Canada, and with our completion of the NAFTA agreement, we have seen a substantial increase in trade, and an increase in jobs -- good-paying jobs -- for the American people. In the last year alone, we estimate that 100,000 jobs have been added to the American economy because of increased trade opportunities flowing directly out of NAFTA. We have a 500 percent increase in exports of automobile products to Mexico alone in the last year because of NAFTA.
So, while I think this is good for the world and good for our region, I want to begin by saying a special thankyou, because this agreement and the good faith that has been followed in adhering to it has been good for the working families of the United States.
The second thing I would like to do is to say how very proud I am that we are welcoming Chile to the NAFTA partnership. This is a country, like our three countries, that has benefitted from disciplined and responsible economic leadership. Chile has high economic growth, low inflation, has virtually extinguished its foreign debt, and has done so while manifesting a commitment to the labor and environmental standards and to the welfare of the people of Chile that are embedded in our commitments in NAFTA. So Chile is an ideal partner.
I think you could see from the comments of the Prime Minister of Canada and the President of Mexico, we are actually quite proud to be entering this partnership.
I think, furthermore, that this agreement we announce today will be further proof of our intentions, our serious intentions, to complete the free trade agreement for all the Americas by 2005. That is what we agreed to do in this summit. And this should be evidence that we intend to accelerate the process; we intend to keep working.
And let me say, again, on behalf of the United States, NAFTA is a good deal for us; it will be a better deal with Chile in it. And we are honored -- honored -- to be in partnership with a country that shares our values and that has demonstrated that it can succeed by doing the right things and doing them well in a free society.
Thank you very much. (Applause.)
END12:53 P.M. EST