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U.S. Department of State 
96/02/29 Remarks: Wal-Mart Super Center, Avellaneda, Argentina 
Office of the Spokesman 


 
                       U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 
                       Office of the Spokesman 
 
                       (Buenos Aires, Argentina) 
____________________________________________________________________ 
For Immediate Release                              February 29, 1996 
 
 
 
 
                                REMARKS  
                                MADE BY 
                SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER 
                       AT HIS VISIT TO WAL-MART 
 
 
                                Wal-Mart 
                        Buenos Aires, Argentina 
                           February 29, 1996 
 
 
Buenos dias.  Good Morning.  Minister, Mr. Mayor, Mr. Ambassador, Mr. 
Martin, colleagues, it is really exciting to be here this morning.  I am 
up here on the stage surrounded by individuals from two friendly but 
foreign countries:  Argentina and Arkansas.  I want you all to know that 
it is just a coincidence that I have chosen to make this stop here at 
the Wal- Mart store in Buenos Aires.  It has absolutely nothing to do 
with fact that Wal-Mart is headquartered in President Clinton's home 
state of Arkansas.  It has nothing to do with the fact that I saw Mrs. 
Alice Walter [Walton] coming out of the President's office a few days 
ago.  Seriously, she didn't know that I was coming here and she was 
terribly pleased that I was going to come by here and say "hello." 
 
I particularly enjoyed my tour of the store this morning.  But they did 
not let me stop to look at any of the goods...they just moved me right 
through.  I was particularly attracted by the bicycles, Bobby.  Thinking 
of the things I have got to do today, I really think I could use a 
bicycle.  
 
I particulary want to thank Minister Cavallo for being with us today.  
He is one of our heroes in the United States.  We credit the Minister 
and President Menem with the revival of the economy here and the 
transformation that has taken place.  He and the President have made 
Argentina one of the great economic success stories of this decade -- 
indeed of this century.  Foreign investment has poured in; the United 
States, with companies like Wal-Mart, have led the way. 
 
I also want to acknowledge the presence of my close friend Mack McLarty.  
He is the President's counselor and one of his closest advisors.  He and 
I became close friends when I was stationed in Little Rock, Arkansas for 
parts of the President's campaign.  I can tell you that Mack is a big 
booster of Argentina.  He was very instrumental in persuading me to come 
here.  It did not take too much arm twisting because I, in my private 
life, in real life, I made several trips here and I just love this city 
and this country.  
  
This store is already a huge success.  It has really been a 
international phenomenon. This one store sold one million dollars in one 
day.  You can see why American companies are coming here when you have 
that kind of an opportunity -- so long as they do a good job.   Our 
bilateral trade with them, Argentina is growing by leaps and bounds:   
$1.7 billion in Argentinian exports to the United States last year.  By 
the same token, U.S. exports to Argentina are rising.  It is good 
business for both of us. 
 
Companies like Wal-Mart, GTE, and Enron are providing good jobs and 
great new opportunities in both of our countries.  Through our efforts 
to open new markets, to eliminate trade barriers, the Clinton 
Administration is trying to do its part to make this kind of an 
investment profitable and possible.  
 
You probably all know that this is an election year in the United States 
and we're hearing again from those who say that the United States should 
erect walls and shut itself off from the world.  Let me assure you:  we 
will not do that.  As President Clinton said, "we must reach out and not 
retreat.  We have to break down walls, not build them up." 
 
Later today I will be meeting with President Menem, as well as my 
counterpart Foreign Minister Di Tella.  In that meeting we will be 
renewing our commitment to open trade and economic cooperation and 
having free trade, open trade in the entire hemisphere by the year 2005.  
 
Let me thank you all once again for letting me join you on this very 
happy occasion. This is one of the things that a Secretary of State gets 
to do.  It is a happy time and a happy day. 
 
Successful investments such as this one are real tribute [not only] to 
the energy and skill of the American businessmen but also to the success 
of Argentina's economic reforms. So I end where I began, and that is by 
complimenting President Menem and the Finance Minister for doing what 
they have done to make Argentina's economy an engine for trade and 
investment all through this hemisphere and particularly for the United 
States.  I know that Minister Cavallo would join me in saying to all of 
you "Enjoy your good jobs.  Work hard at them.  And enjoy good life." 
 
Thank you very much. 
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