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Public Papers - 1991 - April

Remarks and an Exchange With Reporters Prior to Discussions With President Carlos Salinas de Gortari of Mexico in Houston, Texas


President Bush. Welcome, everybody. Are these things turned on? Because I just want to say, if they are, how pleased I am to see President Salinas, see him back here where -- I think it's where we first met. He was coming in as President of Mexico, and I was coming in as President of the United States. We've had a strong friendship, and we're on common ground on these major issues. So, it's a special privilege for me to have him back here in Houston, Texas.

Fast Track Authority Extension

Q. Are you hoping to get momentum to get Fast Track through Congress here?

The President. You're darn right. We're going to work; we're going all-out on that. And I'll have a little more to say about that later on. It is priority for the United States, the United States Government. And I'm going to do everything I can with the Congress to get this approved. And I mean all out, 100-percent commitment. So, no holding back at all.

Q. President Salinas, do you think you can help?

President Salinas. We'll do our share, the share that Mexico has to do within Mexico.

[At this point, another group of journalists entered the room.]

President Bush. As I say to the Mexican media how pleased we are to have President Salinas here in Houston, Texas, where we first met. We had the spirit of Houston then, and the spirit of Houston squared, revisited, and we've got important matters upon which we are working together. And I'm thinking particularly on this Fast Track authority for a free-trade agreement.

And the United States is committed, our Government, and I'm going to work my heart out to have it passed. It's good for the United States, and I happen to believe it's also good for Mexico.

Note: President Bush spoke at 11:05 a.m. in the Crew Ready Room at Ellington Field. President Salinas spoke in Spanish, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter. A portion of this exchange could not be verified because the tape was incomplete.

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