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Remarks by President Bush and President Collor of Brazil on Signing an Enterprise for the Americas Initiative Multilateral Trade Agreement

June 19, 1991

President Bush. Well, first, let me welcome everybody here -- a most distinguished guest list from all across our treasured hemisphere, and we're delighted to have you here. Of course, I want to single out our guest of honor, who's been here for what the United States feels has been a terribly important visit, President Collor of Brazil. I want to salute Foreign Minister Di Tella; Foreign Minister Rezek; Foreign Minister Frutos; Foreign Minister Gros; and the Secretary General of the OAS, our distinguished friend Baena Soares; and Secretary Brady and Secretary Mosbacher. Of course, Carla Hills here at the table for the United States, and so many distinguished Ambassadors. We're delighted to have you here.

This is an occasion to be proud of. We want to refer to this, and will refer to this, as the Rose Garden Agreement. For those who are new here, this is a very special place, this Rose Garden. Many historic events have happened here; many current events take place here. But we view this agreement as one of significance, and I would refer to this as the Rose Garden Agreement. It represents the culmination of a great deal of negotiating work. It represents a new departure for our trade and investment relations with Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

And more importantly, this agreement demonstrates how a new cooperative spirit is at work in our hemisphere. Almost exactly a year ago, I set forth some ideas on how the United States and the other countries of this hemisphere could address issues of trade, investment, and debt. And one of the ideas advanced was the negotiation of bilateral trade and investment framework agreements as a way to move us along the road to our ultimate destination. Free trade area -- this is the way we see it -- a free trade area stretching from Alaska in the north to Tierra del Fuego in the south. A major new free trade area.

The four countries represented here came back and they told us they had some innovative ideas, and they came back with a very imaginative proposal. Instead of doing a bilateral framework agreement, why not do a framework agreement with a number of countries? And we thought about it. The logic was compelling. And in the marketplace of ideas, good ones advance, and this was a very good one.

In keeping with that spirit and the purpose of the EAI -- the Enterprise for the Americas Initiatives -- we were delighted, in keeping with that spirit, to join with a group of hemispheric countries that are working together to break down barriers to trade among themselves. And we've spent the last several months working with you all to make this a reality. And I want to congratulate, with pride, our negotiator, Carla Hills, for her work and that of her team. On behalf of the United States, I can proudly say I hope you found them cooperative, but I'm proud of the negotiations that were undertaken and concluded. And I want to thank each Foreign Minister for the work that you have done to make this signing today possible.

We all know, however, that agreeing on the words and then putting them down on paper is only the first step. The most important part of any agreement is its implementation. I want to assure you that we are committed to making this agreement work in practice. And as I made clear when I proposed the Enterprise for the Americas Initiative, our goal is to help bring more trade and growth, more jobs and greater prosperity to this, our shared and treasured hemisphere.

I don't intend for the Enterprise for the Americas to be just a slogan. We can't afford here in the United States to have one more slogan and then have the policy itself not be followed through on, have the policy fail. And so, we want it to mean real progress in this hemisphere. And you have my commitment to bring this agreement the same spirit of cooperation -- bring to it the same spirit of cooperation and innovation that produced it in the first place.

So, I wanted to thank you. I wanted to simply say, from the standpoint of the United States of America, we know it is in our interest. I am convinced it is in the interest of all the signatories to this agreement -- this Rose Garden Agreement. And I believe also there's a good message for others in this hemisphere.

So, thank you to everybody that worked so hard on it. And again Mr. President, I just can't tell you how pleased we are to have you. And you get the final word.

President Collor. Mr. President, Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Ambassadors, ladies and gentlemen, for the first time since our countries took their places in the concert of nations, we four and President Bush and the United States of America are meeting to inscribe our common aspirations for peace, justice, and development in a formal agreement which translates the will of our peoples and governments.

May this moment be remembered as an historical milestone which foreshadows a brighter and better future for generations to come. May this Rose Garden Agreement flower as a source of inspiration for all of us, people and governments, rich and poor, as a token of faith in our future -- a common future, but a better future on a planet where we can raise our children in peace and harmony and social justice with trust in our neighbors and no fear for our environment.

May God guide us. And thank you very much, President George Bush.

Note: The President spoke at 5:04 p.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Foreign Minister Guido Di Tella of Argentina; Foreign Minister Francisco Rezek of Brazil; Foreign Minister Alexis Frutos Vaesken of Paraguay; Foreign Minister Hector Gros Espiell of Uruguay; Joao Clemente Baena Soares, Secretary General of the Organization of American States; Secretary of the Treasury Nicholas F. Brady; Secretary of Commerce Robert A. Mosbacher; and United States Trade Representative Carla A. Hills.

George Bush, Remarks by President Bush and President Collor of Brazil on Signing an Enterprise for the Americas Initiative Multilateral Trade Agreement Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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