93/07/27 Address before the American Business Council: Supporting U.S. Business In Asia and Around the World (Singapore)  Return to: Index of 1993 Secretary of State's Speeches/Testimonies || Electronic Research Collections Index || ERC Homepage

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U.S. Department of State
93/07/27 Address before the American Business Council
Office of the Spokesman


Secretary Christopher
Supporting U.S. Business In Asia and Around the World

Address before the American Business Council, Singapore, July 27, 1993.


Good morning.  I am delighted to be here with you today.  You are the vanguard 
of our competitive efforts in the global marketplace, and your leadership 
helps advance American interests.

One of the key pillars of America's foreign policy today is the promotion of 
America's economic security.  We cannot be influential abroad unless we are 
strong at home.  But in this new era, if we are to be strong at home we must 
encourage our businesses to engage actively abroad.  More than 7 million 
Americans are working in export-related jobs.  And many of your companies are 
front-line fighters for American competitiveness.

Nowhere is that more clear than in Singapore and in the Asia-Pacific region.  
This is a region of dynamic economic growth and sweeping social change.  Last 
year, U.S. firms shipped more than $128 billion in products to Asia. 
Collectively, the ASEAN countries are our fourth-largest export market.

Because of the efforts of the Clinton Administration, the United States is 
better prepared than ever to seize these new opportunities.  America is back 
as a responsible manager of its economy and as a leader on global economic 
issues.  The President's economic package, which will cut our budget deficit 
by half a trillion dollars over the next five years, is nearing final 
approval.  We are taking the tough steps to get our house in order.  And as we 
saw at the G-7 summit earlier this month, our allies and trading partners are 
taking notice.

I am also confident because American businesses are becoming more competitive.  
Our manufacturing sector is again robust. Our services sector, probably the 
world's most advanced, makes a vast positive contribution to the U.S. balance 
of trade.  Our cultural industry is influencing the global economy in 
countless ways.

As you press on with your work here, I want you to know that you are not 
acting alone.  I recently sent a message to all ambassadors making it clear 
that I expect each of them to take personal charge of promoting our commercial 
interests--and to engage their embassies in a sustained effort to help the 
American business community.

On a policy level, the Clinton Administration is working to eliminate unfair 
obstacles to American businesses here in the Pacific Rim and around the world.  
Our goal is simple:  to open markets, not close them; to create more trade and 
jobs, not less.

Our first trade policy priority is a successful conclusion to the Uruguay 
Round by December 15. Difficult work lies ahead if we are to conclude 
successfully the Round this year.  But our breakthrough in Tokyo on market 
access has enabled us to resume negotiations in Geneva with renewed urgency.  
We hope that the spirit of cooperation that prevailed at the G-7 summit can be 
sustained as we work with all our trading partners to resolve the outstanding 
issues.

Consistent with our Uruguay Round efforts, the United States also supports 
regional trade liberalization.  The dismantling of barriers to trade and 
investment on a regional basis, consistent with GATT, will spur economic 
growth and bolster support for the global multilateral trading system.  
Regional trade liberalization will make it easier for American firms to be 
actively engaged in the Pacific Rim markets.

Members of the evolving Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum are already 
developing a comprehensive work program to promote regional trade 
liberalization.  I encourage you to meet with our embassy staff to discuss how 
your business can become involved in one of APEC's 10 established working 
groups.

Finally, the United States seeks to expand trade not only through global and 
regional initiatives, but also through balanced bilateral initiatives.  For 
instance, we were successful in Tokyo in crafting a new economic framework 
with Japan.  Its objectives are to promote global growth, pry open markets, 
and redress persistent imbalances in our two economies.  While there are still 
difficult negotiations ahead, we expect the outcome to be a substantial 
increase in access for U.S. goods, services, and investment in the Japanese 
market.

What the Clinton Administration does in these areas is important.  But 
ultimately you are the ones who create wealth.  You are the ones who find the 
niches and crack the markets.  Your vision, savvy, and determination enable 
Americans to share in the great opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region.  So 
I salute your hard work here.  And I pledge our government's sustained 
support.  Your success is America's success--and President Clinton and I are 
committed to both.

Now I'd like to introduce Joan Spero, Under Secretary of State for Economic 
and Agricultural Affairs.  We plan to add "business" to her job title--to 
reflect the President's determination to support American companies more 
aggressively around the world.  As a former executive vice president at 
American Express and as the former U.S. Ambassador to the UN Economic and 
Social Committee, Joan is extremely well-qualified to address issues of 
concern to you.  

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