John F. Kennedy photo

Broadcast Remarks on Trade and Foreign Aid.

September 23, 1962

THE UNITED STATES faces two challenges and two opportunities. One is the Common Market, where we are going to have, instead of a number of different countries to trade with in Europe, one great unit. This can be a most powerful and prosperous and steadily growing economy which can bring the greatest results and strength to the United States in the entire free world.

The new trade bill will give us the opportunity to negotiate with this Common Market, so that our goods, our agricultural production, our machines, and all the rest can move successfully into this growing European market. It can mean a good deal to the prosperity of the United States.

The other great challenge of course we face is the problem of resisting the Communist advance which concentrates its attention and energy particularly on the poorer areas of the world, Asia, Africa, Latin America, where millions and hundreds of millions of people live without adequate food, without shelter, without education, without a chance. And the Communists move among them and say, "Come with us."

Now, we have been able to hold this line against this internal subversion by the Communists, as well as the external threat of military invasion, because for many years the United States has assisted these countries in meeting their own problems. We are assisting the people of Viet-Nam. We are assisting countries in Latin America which are faced with staggering problems. If we stop helping them, they stand on the razor edge today. If we stop helping them, they will become ripe for internal subversion and a Communist takeover. And we've seen very recently, as well as really in the days since World War II, how difficult it is to eject a Communist regime once it gets its police power and controls the country. The best way, the cheapest way, the safest way, the most reliable way, is to help them help themselves maintain their freedom. The United States has done this. We did it in Europe. We've done it around the world. And it is only a fraction of what we spend each year for our own military forces. But it's a front line, and if we can keep these countries free, then we can keep the peace and keep our own freedom.

That's what this aid fight is all about, and I'm hopeful that the United States and the increasingly prosperous countries of Western Europe will meet their responsibilities. This way we can defeat communism. This is the way to victory. And I hope that however fatigued we may get with this program or carrying these burdens, the Communists aren't tired, we mustn't be tired, because we can win this way. So that's why, David, we're working as hard as we are to get this program and the trade bill through.

Note: The President's remarks were recorded at the White House on September 20 during an interview with David Schoenbrun, chief correspondent for CBS, for broadcast on the television program "Washington Review," at 12:30 p.m. on September 23.

John F. Kennedy, Broadcast Remarks on Trade and Foreign Aid. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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