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Public Papers - 1990

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the Liberalization of Trade and Investment With Nicaragua


President Bush today signed a Presidential proclamation designating Nicaragua as a beneficiary of the trade measures provided for in the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act. Nicaragua's participation in the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) benefits will give Nicaraguan businesses duty-free access to the U.S. market for a wide range of goods and will prompt growth in Nicaragua's export sector, which is critical for its economic recovery program.

In recognition of the disastrous economic situation which the democratically elected government of President Violeta Chamorro inherited, President Bush has determined that it is in the national interest to waive the statutory requirements that a lengthy review of worker rights in Nicaragua be conducted before CBI benefits are extended. Nevertheless, we are satisfied that the Nicaraguan Government complies with the criteria of the law and that there is labor freedom in Nicaragua. Today the Nicaraguan workers are free to organize, the press is uncensored, political activity is unrestricted, and religious activity is free from government interference. This is in strong contrast to the record of the previous government.

By promoting increased trade ties between the United States and Nicaragua, President Bush's action is yet another sign of the new, friendly relationship between our two countries. The United States reiterates its strong support for the democratically elected government of Nicaragua.

Note: The proclamation is listed in Appendix E at the end of this volume.

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