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Exchange With Reporters Following Discussions With APEC Leaders in Seattle

November 20, 1993

Q. Mr. Clinton, are you pleased at the outcome of today's meeting?

The President. Yes, and we agreed to meet again next year in Indonesia.

Q. When you look back on this how will you——

The President. I think 10 years from now people will look back on this meeting as a very historic meeting because we agreed to meet and then we agreed to meet again next year to work on a number of issues of mutual concern to our people. I think this is really the assurance that the people need that our region will remain unified and committed to an open economy.

Q. Standing here with leaders of the Pacific Rim, what's your message to the European Community?

The President. That we want them to be part of an open economy, too; this is not an exclusive operation. We want the Asia-Pacific community to be united but not closed, united but open. And what we want to say to Europe is we're committed to doing everything we can to get a good GATT agreement between now and December 15th; we want your help, let's do it.

Q. What about us? [Laughter]

The President. I thought it was the pool——

Q. No, no——

The President. [Inaudible]—in Indonesia. President Soeharto has invited us to meet in Indonesia next year. We decided to do it. We agreed on a number of very specific things that we would work on over the coming year. And the message again is that we want this community to be united, not divided, and open, not closed.

I was asked a question over there, "What's the message to Europe?" The message to Europe is we want this to be a united but open community and we want Europe to work with us to get a good GATT agreement by the end of the year. That's the message we want to send to our European friends. We don't want an exclusive trading bloc, we want them to join us in a new world trading system.

Q. Do you feel these countries are all as open to the United States as you'd like them to be?

The President. Well, we talked about that. That's one of the reasons that we're meeting here so that we can do more business with each other. And we talked about some specific things we might do to work toward that: the development of some nonbinding but agreedupon principles for investment and access, the development of some technology transfer programs that could really help the United States in working with other countries with severe environmental problems, for example.

So we have made the commitments that I think we need to make at this meeting to move to a position where this community will be an even better thing for the United States to be a part of on terms that everyone can win on. So we're very hopeful. But the first thing we hope we can do is get a new world trade agreement by the end of the year.

Q. So will this be an annual event, the leaders of the APEC——

The President. Well, no, it's going to happen twice. You'll see us next year. We'll see if we'll decide to do it again. Now we're all going to Jakarta. This will be—for the Americans it will be interesting. Sign up for the trip now. [Laughter]

Q. [Inaudible]—difficult for you to communicate from various areas of Asia-Pacific area— is it difficult for you to communicate to us naturally or a very comfortable situation?

The President. Oh, I think it's like all other human relations, the more we're together the more natural it is. It got better as it went along—like life.

NOTE: The exchange began at 3:05 p.m. on Blake Island. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange.

William J. Clinton, Exchange With Reporters Following Discussions With APEC Leaders in Seattle Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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