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Public Papers - 1992

Remarks Announcing the Agreement on Agricultural Trade With the European Community

1992-11-20

I want to salute Secretary Madigan and Ambassador Carla Hills, and my announcement relates to their work. I am exceptionally pleased to announce that the United States and the European Community's Commission have reached unanimous agreement on an agricultural package that should enable us to press forward the global trade negotiations to a successful conclusion.

These global trade negotiations, the so-called Uruguay round under the GATT, are fundamental to spurring economic growth, creating jobs here at home and indeed all around the world. I am hopeful that the breakthrough that we achieved today will spur movement across-the-board in the ongoing negotiations among all the GATT parties in Geneva so that we can achieve this comprehensive, global, and balanced agreement that we've sought for so long. In addition, by agreeing to solutions to our differences on oilseeds and other agricultural disputes, we've avoided a possible trade war, and that is very, very important.

I am particularly pleased that Ambassador Hills and Secretary Madigan are here with us today because they've done extraordinary work to achieve this historic result -- I salute their teammates who are with us here today as well -- and also because they will remain with you to answer your questions. Some of this is very, very technical. And they know how proud I am of their work. I've seen them in action both here and abroad, hammering out this agreement. It's taken a long time, but it was sound.

It's been a long and difficult course to the result that we've achieved today. I recall these extensive and frequently vigorous -- I've chosen the word carefully -- discussions on agriculture and other trade issues at the economic summit that we hosted in Houston in 1990 and at each of the summits that followed. But I am now absolutely convinced that the work was well worth it. I talked to Prime Minister John Major this morning, had an opportunity to thank him for his key role as the current President of the EC.

The next step then will be for the United States and the EC and all the other parties in the Uruguay round to return to the negotiating table in Geneva prepared to show the flexibility necessary to bring these negotiations to a successful close.

So, once again, I salute our partners in all of this. And I certainly salute our extraordinarily effective team that has been able to bring this about. And with no further ado, I will turn it over to them to take all your questions.

Note: The President spoke at 12:10 p.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House.

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