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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release November 12, 1999


Southeast Europe Trade Preference Act

Today, I instructed the Office of the United States Trade Representative to transmit to Congress the Southeast Europe Trade Preference Act ("SETPA"), which would authorize expansion of duty-free treatment to a much broader range of imports from the region for five years. This legislation implements in part a Trade Expansion Initiative that I launched at the Sarajevo Summit in July. This initiative is an important part of the broader Stability Pact developed by the United States, our European allies and partners, and others to speed the economic development and democratization of Southeast Europe, and advance its integration into an undivided Europe. Along with trade benefits provided by European nations, these efforts can help the countries of the region achieve long-term economic growth. This, in turn, will strengthen the region's stability and reduce the risk of another destructive conflict.

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