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Remarks at the Swearing In of Christian Herter as Special Representative for Trade Negotiations.

December 10, 1962

I WANT to express the greatest possible pleasure in having the former Secretary of State, former Governor of Massachusetts, former Member of Congress, come to work now for the United States once again in a position of singular responsibility.

The relations between the expanding Common Market and the United States are going to be crucial to our economic progress in the sixties and also to our security, so closely linked is our security with the maintenance of an effective trade program. This position will place great burdens upon the Administrator.

The bill puts great authority in the hands of the President who delegates that authority to the Administrator. And I think we are very fortunate to have a man of Governor Herter's long experience serving us in this capacity, someone who fought for the passage of the legislation, someone who strongly believes in the intimate and growing relationship between Europe and the United States and Canada, and also our close relations with other countries in Asia, Latin America, Africa, as well as in Western Europe.

All this responsibility will come to rest on the office of the new Administrator. And he is ably assisted by Mr. Gossett whose long experience in American industry will bring to this position of Governor Herter's Deputy a good deal of knowledge about the problems of American industry competing abroad.

Other members will be added to Mr. Herter's staff. In particular, it is my understanding, Mr. Herter is going to have an Assistant who will be particularly informed on the problems of American agriculture which are going to be one of the sensitive matters under discussion. These discussions really will be on two levels: one is the day-today negotiating over tariff matters affecting hundreds of different items. The other will be to attempt to use this instrument as a source of greater harmony between Europe and the United States. And I think it's that phase, as well as the first, that has particular appeal to the Secretary of State and I think it explains why he's willing once again to assume the responsibilities of public office.

So, Mr. Secretary, we are delighted to have you back in familiar surroundings. We are delighted to welcome your assistant, Mr. Gossett. I think the United States is fortunate to have you both at this time.

Note: The President spoke at 12120 p.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House. After Mr. Herter took the oath of office William T. Gossett, former vice president and counsel of the Ford Motor Company, was sworn in as Deputy Special Representatire for Trade Negotiations.

John F. Kennedy, Remarks at the Swearing In of Christian Herter as Special Representative for Trade Negotiations. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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