INTERNATIONAL aviation is essential in a world that has become economically interdependent. Historically, the United States has had a leadership role in the development of international air transportation and intends to continue that role.
Aviation is an essential part of the foreign commerce of the United States. It is required for mail, high priority cargo, government business, and urgent personal travel. A desirable, low-cost means of international pleasure travel, aviation helps bring the people of many cultures and nationalities together, creating a greater sense of friendship and mutual understanding.
The United States seeks an international economic environment and air transportation structure conducive to healthy competition among all air carriers. We shall rely upon competitive market forces to the greatest extent feasible, for it is a basic tenet of our economic philosophy that marketplace competition provides improved services and permits the well-managed carrier to earn a profit while lowering total costs. At the same time, we recognize that other nations may differ in their view as to how such transportation should be organized and operated. We shall work through appropriate bilateral and multilateral forums to bring about constructive change for the benefit of air travelers, shippers, and carriers of all nations.
The international air carrier industry should continue to have the primary responsibility for adapting its air transport product to public demand. Regulatory regimes imposed by governments should not stifle the industry's flexibility to respond to this demand, nor should they remove incentives to keep costs low.
The Economic Policy Board Task Force on International Air Transportation Policy, chaired by the Departments of Transportation and State, has recommended a comprehensive statement of United States policy. The statement sets forth the objectives the United States will seek in negotiations with other nations. It also calls for balanced revisions of certain regulatory policies of the Civil Aeronautics Board.
I am approving this statement of international air transportation policy to supersede the one issued June 22, 1970,1 and am directing that this new statement of policy guidance be used henceforth by officials of the Government in dealing with international aviation matters.
1 See Public Papers of the Presidents, Richard Nixon, 1970 volume, Item 195.