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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 20, 1996




International commerce is vital to domestic economic growth -- perhaps more so now than at any other time in recent U.S. history. Our Nation's prosperity depends in large part on our ability to develop and produce high-quality products, identify and open markets, and promote American goods and services across the globe. The U.S. jobs supported by exports are increasingly important, paying an average of 13 percent more than other positions and accounting for nearly one out of ten American workers and one in five of those in the manufacturing sector. The theme of this year's World Trade Week, "Winning with Exports," is an invitation and a challenge to U.S. firms to reap the benefits of doing business abroad.

My Administration has developed a National Export Strategy that places special emphasis on helping small- and medium-sized companies seize trade opportunities. As part of this plan, we have created a country-wide network of U.S. Export Assistance Centers to provide information and capital to businesses seeking to expand. The results speak for themselves; in 1995, actions taken by Centers like those in Chicago and Baltimore dramatically increased the number of U.S. firms entering new markets and boosting export sales.

Trade is also a means of fostering understanding and stability around the world, helping our Nation to build partnerships founded on mutual prosperity. American commerce and investments are strengthening new democracies whose viability depends on economic growth and raised standards of living. From South Africa, to Central Europe, the Baltic States, Russia, Ukraine, and the Newly Independent States, exporting is allowing our country to play a pivotal role in settling and solidifying crucial foreign markets. Trade is also essential to troubled regions such as the Middle East, Northern Ireland, and Bosnia, where job creation and economic improvements play an important role in efforts to achieve peace.

As we observe World Trade Week, 1996, let us strive to give our Nation's exporters every opportunity to sell products freely and fairly and help our companies to meet the challenge of exploring markets abroad. Their efforts to maintain efficient, high-quality production and to promote American goods and services to an international clientele will lead to a stronger economy and a brighter future for us all.

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 laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 19 through May 25, 1996, as World Trade Week. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this week with ceremonies, activities, and programs that celebrate the potential of international trade.

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


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