Ronald Reagan picture

Remarks on Arrival at the Williamsburg Economic Summit Conference in Virginia

May 27, 1983

It's a great pleasure to come to this picturesque site, the cradle of so much American history, and I look forward tomorrow to welcoming the leaders of the other industrialized democracies to the Williamsburg economic conference.

Our main purpose is twofold—to discuss how we can broaden the economic recovery that's now underway and to reinforce the enduring values in which our close relationships with the other summit nations rest.

My summit partners and I approach this meeting, the ninth in as many years, in a spirit of realistic optimism. We take heart in the evidence that the United States and others are now recovering from the most serious global recession since World War II. Recovery is what this summit is all about. We're convinced that the growing convergence of domestic economic policies among the countries to be represented here will help sustain recovery and expand it to the rest of the world. With inflation increasingly under control, we can turn our collective attention to solving such problems as protectionism and unemployment. At the same time, we can lay the basis for growth among the less developed countries in whose welfare and prosperity we all have an important stake.

Our work will not, of course, begin or end here in Williamsburg. We don't underestimate the nature or the magnitude of the problems that confront us or the difficulty such problems cause among the less fortunate sectors of our populations. With 22 million people unemployed in the summit countries, we must not flag in our efforts to ensure a recovery that's durable, noninflationary, and rooted in the democratic values that we, as free peoples, cherish.

These efforts are part of a long-term process, addressing the most pressing concerns of what we've come to call "the successor generation"—our children and our children's children. Our work here in Williamsburg is, therefore, not only for the present; in a very real sense, it is for posterity.

I'm confident in the ultimate success of our task. The leaders who will join me here tomorrow have prepared extensively for our summit. I anticipate the closest and most candid discussions with them on what we can do together to help the people in our countries and throughout the world. And now, as always in the long history of democratic tradition, we confront the challenges before us in a spirit of hope and confidence—a spirit that flows most abundantly from free peoples living under freely elected governments.

Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 3:32 p.m. in Providence Hall.

Earlier in the afternoon, the President left the White House and traveled to Langley Air Force Base, Va. He was met by Governor Charles S. Robb, Senator John W. Warner, and Representatives G. William Whitehurst and Herbert H. Bateman of Virginia, Gen. W. L. Creech, Commander, Tactical Air Command, and Col. Henry Viccellio, Jr., Commander, 1st Tactical Fighter Wing. Following a ceremony at the Air Force base, the President went by Marine One to Williamsburg.

Upon arrival at Providence Hall, the President was greeted by Robert Walker, mayor of Williamsburg, Carlisle Humelsine, chairman of the board, and Charles Longsworth, president, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and Dr. Thomas A. Graves, Jr., president of the College of William and Mary. Following his arrival remarks, the President met with members of his staff. He remained overnight at Providence Hall, his residence for the duration of the summit.

Ronald Reagan, Remarks on Arrival at the Williamsburg Economic Summit Conference in Virginia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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