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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 12, 1995


One-Year Anniversary of the Summit of the Americas

Last December, I joined the other 33 democratically-elected leaders from the Western Hemisphere in Miami for the historic Summit of the Americas. Working in a new spirit of cooperation, we set a common agenda to strengthen the advance of democracy in our region, to protect our environment and natural resources, to expand opportunities for our nations and our communities, and to promote a new partnership for hemispheric prosperity.

Over the last year, the hemisphere's leaders have worked hard to realize the ambitious program defined at the Summit. We are working together to challenge money-launderers, narcotics traffickers and others who ignore the rule of law. A new hemispheric Partnership for Pollution Prevention will phase out the use of leaded gasoline and other chemicals that contaminate our air and poison our soil.

In June, we hosted a meeting of regional trade and commerce ministers to discuss measures to facilitate trade liberalization and to begin preparations for the negotiation of a Free Trade Area of the Americas by the year 2005. Already, falling trade barriers have allowed our exports to the hemisphere to grow by 12 percent in the first half of 1995 to $112 billion, generating over 180,000 export-related jobs. Steady progress means more jobs and opportunities for American workers and U.S. businesses as we look toward the next century.

Working together, the democratic nations of this hemisphere have achieved much. I know we can accomplish much more. Despite the challenges faced by our hemisphere this past year, the foundations of the Summit remain strong and our nations, including the United States, remain committed to our common goals.

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