Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks at the Conclusion of the International Summit Conference in Puerto Rico.

June 28, 1976

WE HAVE just concluded 2 days of very productive discussions on a number of issues of great importance to us all. Our talks were characterized by a seriousness of purpose, a firm desire to improve our understanding of one another's views, and a common commitment to strengthen constructive cooperation among all nations. During the course of our discussions, we reached agreement in several significant areas. These are set out in the declaration that we have just adopted.

First, we are confident about the future economic and financial outlook for all of our countries. All of us are committed to achieving sustainable growth which will reduce unemployment without jeopardizing our common aim of avoiding a new wave of inflation. We recognize that the sustained economic expansion we seek and the resultant increase in individual well-being cannot be achieved in the context of high inflation rates.

We agreed that our objective of monetary stability must not be undermined by the strains of financing payments imbalances. Each nation should manage its economy and its international monetary affairs so as to correct or avoid persistent or structural international payments imbalances.

We have recognized that problems may arise for a few developed countries which have special needs, which have not yet restored domestic economic stability, and which face major payments deficits. We agreed that if assistance in financing transitory balance of payments deficits is necessary to avoid general disruptions in economic growth, it can best be provided by multilateral means in conjunction with a firm program for restoring underlying equilibrium.

The industrialized democracies can be most successful in helping developing nations by agreeing on, and working together to implement sound solutions to their own problems--solutions which enhance the efficient operation of the international economy. Our efforts must be mutually supportive rather than competitive. We remain determined to continue the dialog with the developing countries to achieve concrete results.

We agreed on the importance of maintaining a liberal climate for the flow of international investment. We agreed to examine carefully the various aspects of East-West economic contacts so that they enhance overall East-West relations.

Together, the results of our discussions represent a significant step forward in cooperation among the industrial democracies. They establish positive directions which will benefit not only our peoples but the international economy as a whole.

In conclusion, let me add a personal note. I was greatly impressed with the candid and friendly atmosphere here. Our countries have come through a very difficult period. Our cooperation during this period has not only contributed to the resolution of problems but has, in fact, significantly strengthened relations among our countries and among the industrialized democracies as a whole.

We can be proud of this record and of our nations' abilities to meet the severe challenges that we have faced. In my view the spirit of Rambouillet, which was carried forward to these meetings in Puerto Rico, has strengthened prospects for progress by the industrialized democracies in a number of key areas. If we nurture the sense of common purpose and of common vision which has characterized these discussions, we have an opportunity to shape events and to better meet the needs of our citizens and of all the world.

Note: The President spoke at 3:02 p.m. at the Dorado Beach Hotel, Dorado Beach, Puerto Rico. Following his remarks, the heads of the delegations of the other participating countries made final statements.

As printed above, this item follows the text of the White House press release.

Gerald R. Ford, Remarks at the Conclusion of the International Summit Conference in Puerto Rico. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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