THE WHITE HOUSE AT WORK
Wednesday, November 18, 1998
WORKING TO STRENGTHEN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY, PROMOTING SECURITY IN ASIA
From the time our Administration took office in 1993, we have believed it vital to our future that the United States look not only to the West, but, as a Pacific power, to the East as well, and forge a strong Asia-Pacific community for the 21st Century. Central to that effort are the APEC Leaders Forum, which just concluded, and the strengthening of our bonds with Japan and Korea, two of our strongest allies for promoting democracy, securing peace, and building prosperity.
President Bill Clinton
November 18, 1998
Today, President Clinton departs for a trip to Japan, Korea, and Guam. During his trip, the President will continue working with Prime Minister Obuchi of Japan and President Kim of Korea to restore Asia's economic health and to strengthen security cooperation throughout the region.
Leading The Effort To Fight The Global Economic Crisis. As national economies become more intertwined, the decline in one market can affect another. That is why healthy, competitive economies are in America's self-interest. In September, the President called for urgent action to spur growth and aid countries suffering economic downturns. Since then, America and the nations of the world have rallied to advance this agenda:
- Japan has committed significant resources to repair its banking system;
- Brazil is moving forward with efforts to address its fiscal problems, and the international community is working to support these efforts;
- America, Japan, and other nations have taken steps to ease credit and spur growth;
- Congress has agreed to fund our full commitment to the IMF;
- The Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation have expanded their efforts to help the flow of capital into developing nations; and
- The World Bank has announced it will substantially expand its efforts to strengthen Asia's safety net.
The President Is Working With Asian Leaders To Spur Economic Growth. As the world's second largest economy, Japan plays a critical role in revitalizing the economies of Asia. On Monday, President Clinton and Prime Minister Obuchi announced a new initiative to help spur private sector growth in Asia:
- Accelerating the pace of bank and corporate restructuring through the establishment of the Asia Growth and Recovery Program. The United States, Japan, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank will work to establish this program and identify sources of funding;
- Increasing trade finance to give Asian companies greater access to funds they need to revive production and create jobs. Both the United States Export-Import Bank and Japan Export and Investment Insurance (EID/MITI) will contribute;
- Mobilizing new private sector capital to help Asian companies rebuild their balance sheets and move forward quickly with restructuring and growth policies;
- Enhancing technical assistance to equip countries with the expertise they need to overcome financial and corporate restructuring challenges;
Strengthening Cooperation For Security In Asia. The President will be visiting countries that are not only key economic partners, but democratic allies whose cooperation with us is essential to preserving peace, stability, and American interests in the Asia-Pacific region. During his trip, the President will discuss the enduring success of our alliance with Japan and Korea and how to strengthen our security cooperation. The President remains concerned about North Korea's weapons activities, including its provocative missile program and developments that call into question its commitment to freeze and dismantle its nuclear weapons efforts. This trip gives the President the opportunity to address this critical issue. We also support Korean President Kim's strategy of engagement on the Korean Peninsula and ensure that our forces are strong and vigilant until there is a just and lasting peace. Finally, the President is looking forward to visiting American troops stationed abroad, and thanking them for the crucial role they play in defending freedom.