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Remarks on the Market Access Agreement and an Exchange With Reporters in Tokyo

July 07, 1993

The President. Ladies and gentlemen, I want to read a statement about the market access agreement that was reached. Ambassador Kantor, I know, has already been down here answering your questions, and Secretary Christopher and Secretary Bentsen are here.

I want to try to explain why I can't take a broad range of questions on the G-7 summit. Under the rules of the summit, we can't discuss what's going on while it's going on unless we get an exemption. Since we've actually made an agreement on this, I can make the following statement.

The breakthrough achieved today in the international trade talks is good news for America and good news for the world. It means more jobs and higher incomes for our people. While there are difficult negotiations ahead, today's agreement on manufactured goods breaks the logjam in the Uruguay round. For years, talks in that round have languished. G-7 leaders have emerged from these summits pledging renewed commitment to complete the round. Their pledges have gone unfulfilled. But this year, we have recaptured the momentum.

If we can complete the Uruguay round by the end of this year, and I believe we can now, then this agreement will bring the largest tariff reductions ever. It will lower duties on 18 categories of manufactured goods from paper to chemicals to electronics. It eliminates tariffs entirely, that is, it creates global free trade for eight major sectors including farm implements, steels, and pharmaceuticals. This agreement means new jobs and new growth in the United States and in other nations. It proves that government can be a productive partner with business, helping to open markets and create jobs.

Special praise is due to the European Community, to Canada, and to Japan, who joined with us in this effort; to our negotiator, Ambassador Mickey Kantor; and to the United States Congress which voted last week to renew my fast track authority to complete this round.

With today's accord, I am more determined than ever to press ahead with the Uruguay round by the end of this year. This really can mean an enormous number of jobs to the American people. When we came here, frankly, we did not know whether we could get an agreement on market access for manufactured goods. It is a very, very good sign that the agreement was achieved not only because of the jobs that this holds for Americans but because of the promise it holds to actually complete the Uruguay round.

G-7 Meetings

Q. Mr. President, could you just tell us whether you're getting to know the other leaders and what the mood was at the meetings?

The President. Good mood. It was a good mood. Of course, I know—I have spent time with several of them already. But so far it's been a very good mood. We had over 3 hours all alone where we just talked about various things. And I'm looking forward to more of this time. It's very valuable, actually, getting to know them because there are so many things we have to do together.

Q. What about the Japanese agreement?

Q. Do you feel, Mr. President, that they're trying to size you up, take your measure?

The President. I don't know. I'm getting to know them. I'm having a good time.

U. S. Leadership

Q. Does it answer any of the questions about leadership, America's leadership?

The President. Well, I think Mr. Kantor probably told you how this agreement came about and what the sequence of events was. But I don't think there's any question that our country played its appropriate role in getting this agreement.

Q. Any closer to the agreement guidelines for the Japanese?

The President. Bye.

NOTE: The President spoke at 7 p.m. at the Okura Hotel. These remarks were released by the Office of the Press Secretary on July 8. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

William J. Clinton, Remarks on the Market Access Agreement and an Exchange With Reporters in Tokyo Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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