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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 8965

PRESS CONFERENCE BY THE PRESIDENT AND PRIME MINISTER KEATING OF AUSTRALIA

Photo of Keating, Paul

Keating, Paul

Period of Service: 20/12/1991 to 11/03/1996

More information about Keating, Paul on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 14/09/1993

Release Type: Press Conference

Transcript ID: 8965

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release September 14, 1993
PMSS CONrrRENCE BY THE PRESIDENT
AND PRIME MINISTER KZATING OF AUSTRALIA
The East Room
3: 11 P. M. EDT THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon. It's a great pleasure
for me to welcome the Prime Minister of Australia, Mr. Keating, to
Washington and to have this opportunity to make a couple or
statements and then answer some of your questions.
Despite the vast ocean which separates us, Australia and
the United States share essential values and interests rooted in our
frontier heritages, our shared commitment to democracy, our status as
Pacific trading nations, and our efforts across the years to ensure
and strengthen our common security.
It's a pleasure for me to have the opportunity to
personally reaffirm those bonds today.
The Prime Minister and I exchanged views on a wide
variety of issues, I'd like to emphasize the importance of one in
particular the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations,
We agreed that strengthening GATT's trade rules is a top priority for
both our countries. As a founder-of the cairns Group of free trading
agricultural nations, Australia Is working closely with us to bring
the Uruguay Round to conclusion this year.
So that we can achieve agreement this year, the Prime
Minister and I strongly urge the European Community not to reopen the
Olair House Accord on alricultural trade as has been suggested. We
need to move forward not backward, to complete the Round and to give
the world economy a much-needed boost.
We also discussed the importance of economic relations
in the new pacific Comunity that both our nations are committed to
help build. We discussed the building blocks of that Community;
bilateral alliances, such as the one we share; an active commitment
to supporting the spread of democracy and support for open and
expanded markets. We discussed the important role of the organization for
the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation APEC. Both the U. S. and
Australia are members, Both of us have been active proponents of
regional trade liberalization. And I look very much forward to
working with Prime Minister Keating to make the November APEC
ministerial meeting and the leaders conference in Seattle,
Washington, a big success.
Australia and the United States also share mutual
security interests. Australia has been our ally in every sar
cOnflict of this century. Today we share an interest in bolstering
the regions security and in supporting its movement towards
democracy. I expressed my particular admiration for the crucial role
Australia has played in fashioning and implementing the international
effort to promote reconciliation in Cambodia. I told the Prize
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Minister that we look forward to many similar partnerships In the
years ahead.-This seeting vas to have occurred yesterday, but Prime
Minister and i agreed that we should delay it because of the signing
of the Israeli-. Palestinian Peace Agreement. That historic
breakthrough reminds us that we live in a momentous time when the old
walls of division are falling and new vistas are opening. Our
success in seizing thee* opportunities will depend on large seasure
on how well the community of democracies can respond to work together
to~ wards shared goals. Today this xestin? with the Prime Minister
reaffirms that our two nations will continue to work together closely
to turn the promise of this era Into reality.
Mr. Prime Minister.
PRIME MINIS79R XEATING: Thank you, Mr. President.
Well, I'd like to say firsthand that our meeting was most worthvhile
from my point of view and Australia's point of view, for the quality
of our discussion& and our close agreement on1 a wide range of Issues
I think demonstrates the vitality and the relevance of the Australiarelationship
at a time of great change internationally. Let me
say, I'm very favorably impressed by the vigor and imagination with
which the President and his team are addressing the now challenges we
now face in the world.
Australia is a country which puts great importance on
it. relationship with the United States. Our longstanding friendahip
which the President has just referred to, is based on shared values
of democracy and freedom and, as he remarked, we fought in rive major
conflicts together over the courae of this century. Arid in the post-
Cold War period, I'm happy to say that our alliance remains very
strong, indeed. In commerce and diplomacy we do a great deal
together. I was impressed In our discussions today by the priority
which now attaches to fundamental questions of international trade
structures. I welcome the strong support that President Clinton has
Siven to APEC as ant organization for promoting trade and investment
n the Asia-Pacific area. I congratulated hiz on his truly historic
initiative of inviting other APEC leaders to join him at an informal
meeting in Seattle thisB November. This will allow APEC leaders to
discuss ways of moving towards an Asia-Pacific Community which brings
benefits of closer economic integration to all members. This step
also recognizes the increased importance of the Asia Pacific in world
affairs. We agreed on the importance of achieving a successful
and balanced outcome of the Uruguay Round by the mid-Decembezr
deadline. No other joint action by governments this year could do
more to boost the prospects of world growth and jobs, both subjects
which the President and I are intensely interested.
We agreed that any move by the turopean Community to
reopen the Blair Mouse Accord on agriculture seriously risks
jeopardizing the whole Uruguay Round. The Blair Hfouse Accord already
represents a mintimum outcome acceptable to those countries seeking to
establish fair rules of trade for agriculture.
Finally, I should like to thank the President for his
gracious hospitality and to congratulate him on the leadership he is
showing on the United States international arnd domestic agendas.
Mr. President, thank you very much for having us in the
White House from Australia. And we appreciated the arrangements#
particular the difficulties of the the opportunitv tlre~ ented by
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THE PRESIDINT1 Terry, I'd like to call on you first,
and then if we could, I'd like to alternate between one question from
an American jourrnalist and one question from an Australian
journalist. So we'll have to go on the honor system, although I
think most of the Australians are here, on the right.
Okay, Terry, go ahead.
Q Mr. President, you said today that you don't want
to personalibe the NAPTA fight, but I'd like to ask you about remarks
Made today In this room by Presidents Carter and Bush. They both
spoke about demagoguery in NAM, and President Carter spoke about a
demagogue with unlimited finaincial resources, obviously Mr. Perot.
Do you think that Mr. Perot is playing loose and fair with the facts?
THE PRE SIDENqT; Well, I'm going to reiterate what I said
before. I don't want to I am for this agreement because I think
it will create more jobs. I think anyone who wants to enter the
debate Should do so. I think we should be very Careful if we make
-that if we make an assertion that we know that it has some factual
basis. And if any of us make a mistake we ought to say so.
You know, my office has already put out a statement
because I inadvertently made a factual error today not a big one,
but it was an error, and we corrected it. And I just thinic that the
people of this country and of most of the wealthier countries in the
world4 have seen such enormous pressure on the middle class our
folks have really been hurt that they want this to be an open
debate. * But we don't need to prey on their fears# we need to really
work through all the various arguments and the issues and the facts.
And then I'm going to do my beat to do that and I'll be glad to
argue, debate or discuss with anyone who has a different opinion.
out I think, as President, I should take the position that I'm going
to try to bring this country along with this and leave that other
business to others to fight.
someone from Australia yes?
Q mr. Clinton, could you comment on Australian
concerns that the U. S. push on human rights in countries such as
China and Indonesia could threaten Asia-Pacific economic cooperation?
Could Mr. Keating also comment on that? And, Kr. President, could
you also flush out eXactly what you want to see coning out of the
leaders summit in Seattle in November?
TME PRESIDENT: Lest me mention, first of all, the United
states does have a very strong position on human rights, and I think
we should. I also think your government has a good position on human
rights$ which it has not been reluctant to express in dealing with
other nations. But that has not undermined our relationships,
commercial relationships and political relationships with-countries
that we think are makfilg an honest effort to shoot straight with us
and to work with us.
You mentioned Indonesia. I went out of my way to ask
President Boeharto to come to Japan and meet with as when I was
there because he's-the head of the nonaligned nations. Indonesia, I
think, is one of the most underestivated countries in the world.
Xoot pea ple have no idea how big it Is, that IS0 million people live
there, that it is a vast, enormous potential partner in a global
economy. We have questions abo* ut the issues or East Timor, as you
kLnow, and I think yo do, too your country does, too. But we have
had good contact with Indonesia. With regard to China, the United
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Chinese economic revival. We have very strong commercial
relationships with them.
But it is our responsibility in the world in which we
live, I think, to try to restrain the proliferation of weapons of
Iass destruction, to try to stand up for human rights, and to try to
engage the Chinese across a whole broad range of issues, so that we
can't simply have a cooreoe-only relationship.
I an going to do what I can to build the Pacific
community and not to undermine it, and that's what your Prime
Minister spoke so eloquently about today.
I think you wanted him to oment on this, too.
PRIHN XINIST R KZATING; Neither the United States nor
Australia will ever compromise its shared sense of democracy, its
commitment to human rights and the respect of human values. And we
put them forthrightly wherever we see those values under threat or
seeking to be compromised. And this is trus in Australia's case with
Indonesia. It's been true in respect ot China, as has been the case
with the United States.
But I thinX It's true for at and I'm certain for the
President that we sea these issues as part of a total relationship
where we seek to have an influence on these countries and where the
influence may be diminished if the totality of the relationship only
involves the human rights questions, and beyond that* that Is on
these other issues like proliferation and other issues and commercial
questions, where the relationship aust be seen in it* totality.
Q Mr. President, a day after the historic signing
ceremony here on the South Lawn yesterday, the Israelis appear to be
establishing a relationship with MorOco, a formal relationship, and
there is this agreement between Israel and Jordan. What specifically
are you doing now to try to promote the establishment ot formal
diplomatic relations between Israel and other Arab nations Saudi
Arabia, Kuwait good friends of the United States? And do you
thinX that is in the cards in the immediate future?
Th pIsDI$ Well, let me first may that I am very,
very pleased that Prime Minister Rabin and Foreign Mister Peres
have been reoeivelt by Xing Hassan in Morocco. When we learned of
this development yesterday, and we talked about it in some detail
Prize Minister Rabin and I talked about it I was very pleased,
because I think the Xing may have set an example, which I hope other
Arab states will consider following now to try to continue just to
establish dialogue. We are at this moment focusing on three or four aspects
of what we can do to implement this relationship. One is, what about
all the practical problems that are still out there. You know,
elections have to be held. There are a lot of other economic
endeavors have to be undertaXen in the Gaza and there areo lots of
things that just have tp be done practically. So we have a team now
looking at all these practical probleme to see What can the United
States do to facilitate this.
The second thing we're doing is looking at what we can
do to try to organixe an appropriate level of in Ae_ ent. And in
that regard, we're looking primarily at maybe having a donors meeting
and trying to bring in the interested turopean countries and Asian
countries and Arab countries to talk about how we can put together
the kind of package we ought to have.
Yesterday, I met with a couple of hundred Anerican
Jewish and Arab leaders from around the country and I asked them to
participate from the point of view and private sector and
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partnerships and helping to develops these areas so we could really
move this relationship forward.
And then the third thing that we're going to do is to
discuss on a political level what we should do to try to facilitate
further political contacts. The announcement between Israel and
Jordan today is very helpful. And I hope that will give further
enoouragement to other Arab countries.
Is there another yes?
Q Mr. President, you made a very eloquent appeal Cor
support for your NATA proposals today, asking for the middle class
to understand what it could provide in jobs for your HAFTA
initiative. Yet you're still providing massive subsidies
billion a year in the agricultural sector. when are we going to see
some change in that? Because that is hurting free traders like
Australia. T) a P& RESIDENT I'm sorry, I didn't hear change in
what? g Your agricultural subsidies, particularly the
Export Znhancerent Program.
THE RZESzDzNTt well, perhaps the Prime Minister would
like to comment on this, too, but what we are trying to do with the
Export Enhancement Program is to have it run, if you will, only
against or in competition with countries that have done things that
we believe constitute unfair trade by governmental action. That is
we intend to do what we can to avoid using the program in ways that
undermine Australia's interests. And we're going to work very hard
on that because Australia basically iS a free trading country in
agriculture. And in a larger sense, if we could get a new GATT
a" reement that includes agriculture, that would be of enormous
benefit to Australia, to the entire Cairns Group, and to the whole
principle of reducing subsidies in agricultural trade and opening up
more competition. So I think if you will ust watch the way that thing Is
applied, that program over the next year, you will see that we are
going out of our way not to have it conflict with the trade targets
and interests of Australia, which is a country that does practice
what it preaches in terms of tree trade and agriculture.
Q Mr. President, what is your estimate now of how
many jobs would be lost net jobs lost under the North American
Yree Trade Agreement? And what can you better describe your
proposal for reemployment? Is it job training, are they subsidies?
What kind of proposal ThE PRESIDENT: First of all, we are convinced our
administration is convinced that net mor* e jobs will be gained than
lost. If we didn't think that we wouldn't be pushing it. but we
know that some jobs will be lost. Now many will be lost really
depends upon things that are almost impossible to calculate. Let me
Just give you one example. We know right now that certain
a rioultural seqtors will be helped and others over a period of time
will lose some of their tariff protections in America over a period
of several years. We know right now that certain manufacturing
sectors, particularly high-end manufacturing sectors higher wage,
more sophisticated manufacturing will be helped. Other manufacturing
will be subjeot to more competition and fewer import limits.
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somewhere else and will then use American products. Let me just give
you one example. Someone told me yesterday about a company that's
making toys now no offense, Prime Minister in China that
intends to open a plant in Mexico because it will cost so much less
to send the toys from Mexico to the U. S. than China to the and
if they do, they will all of a sudden begin to buy all their plastic,
which is ever So percent of the ooaponent parts from Dupont or some
United States company.
So it is hard to know how many obs will be lost. Net,
wTeh ebree liaervee , n owth ejorbe s wbiellin gb e loas bt igi n pdluesf. e nseB uct utthbaecrkes . w ilAl ndb e whjoabt s I lwoasntt.
to do is to completely reorganize the unemployment system into a
reemploygent system in which people who lose their jobe who are not
likely t679et that same job back within a reasonable amount of time
can goet a wide range of training opportunities based on two things:
What do they want to do, first? And, secondly, based on the best
information we have, what are they most likely to get a job doing7
And so, we are now the Secretary of Labor is
designing a progrea we intend to present it to the Congress, and I
think it will have broad bipartisan support.
Q How will you finance it?
PRESIDENT CLINTON: Through economies we plan to
finance it now through economies assoClated with Implementing the
Reinventing Government report.
An Australian journalist. Yes, sir?
Q You've just acknowledged that some of the gains of
KAFTA might be at the cost of East Asia. Now do you see NAFTA, which
seems to be essentially a preferential arrangement within the North
American context, being able to operate with in that broader APEC
framewor, which is meant to be nondiscrlminatory?
1 would ask Mr. Keating to also respond, please.
PRESIDZNT CLINTON: If you look at it from our point of
view, what we're trying to do is to further lower our trade barriers
against Mexico, and they're % oing to lower and against Canada
they're going to lower more of theirs against us, That's not
inconsistent with what my overarching goal is, which is to get a
freer trading system worldwide, which is why we're pushing the GATT
Round. But, meanwhile, it is very much in the interest of the
United States to have a stronger, more stable, aore democratic and
more pro6perous Mexico on our southern border, able to buy more ot
our products. And most of what we do there would have marginal or no
impact one way or the other on anything that Could happen, for
example, in Southeast Asia in the next four or five years.
I would also say that If this worxs, what I think you'll
see is more open trading systems and fewer tariffs in many other
Latin American countries which are changing politioally and
economically as well.
so I am not for a discriminatory systmp but what I am
trying to do Is make those systens lea closed in their relationships
with us now in the hope that over the long run, the GATT Round and
the worldwide trading rules will really come to dominate the trading
policies of all nations. And then, when we have regional groups like
APEC, they'll be for the our~ osa of outtina more arrancements

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PRESZDENT C TON: yes, would you i1Xe tQ answer that?
PRIME MINISTER KUTING: I don't thinX that there is
anything necessarily inconsistent between either the United States
trading into the Asia Pacific, Canada trading with the Asia Pacific,
or Mexico trading with the Asia Pacific individually or collectively
as part of KAPTA. I think what is important in terms of the view of
the Asian economies Asia-Pacific economies of NAFTA is that there
ie perhaps more flesh on the bones of APEC before NAFTA goes beyond
Mexico, perhaps into South America. But the concept of )# AFTA
integrating with the Asia Pacific is one where I don't think there is
any conflict of concepts. And as the President has said, both things
are going to increase the velocity of trade, both within the
Americans and within the Asia Pacific.
Q Mr, Keating, could you tell us it you've determined
who will represent China at the APEC at the leaders conference
that follows the viinisterial meeting, and it you've given the
President of any idea of other issues that might be discussed at that
time, and what the objectives actually are at that conference?
PRIMt MINISTER IATING: Well, I thinX the President
naturally is the host of this conference and, therefore, the invitees
and the acceptances are primary a matter for him. gut I know that
China is now considering who they might send.
The key thing about the conference is that it provides
definition to a new economic world economic comunity. And that
is the Asia-Pacifio economic comzunity. So by having a leaders
conference, by the APEC member states attending at leadership level,
it's providing a definition of that area that formally wasn't so.
APEC, in terms of its Intrastate trade, is, in fact,
more integrated than is the European Community or even NXPTA. go
there's a great naturalness about AP2C, and I think the President's
historic initiative of inviting the leaders together gives its form,
substance, and as we ourselves adopt an agenda, a work program for
the trade-liberalizing agenda o APEC. Not only is that body having
form and definition, but it will actually proceed along the path of
trade liberalivation, the very thing that the President is committed
to. THE PRESIDENT: if I might, let mae just say, first of
all, on the economic issues, Asia is the fastest growing part of the
world. Latin America In the second fastest growing now. About
percent of our exports are now going to Asia. And about more and
more of our trade-related jobs are tied there. It is a very
important thing that we are not only hosting this economic conference
that and the Prime Minister has been too modest. He played a
major role in convincing all these countries that their leaders
should come to Seattle to be a part of this. But the fact that all
these leaders are going to come here and we're going to have a chance
to sit one on one and in groups with no sort of bureaucratic
apparatus, not preset agenda, nothing to weigh us down, and talk
through a whole range of economic and political issues, is an
enormous opportunity for me to follow up on what we did at the
0-7, where we reestablished clearly and publicly the dynamics of our
relationship with Japan, which we're working on now; our security
obligations in Yorea.
Now, we'll have a chance, I'm not sure a United States
president has ever had before, to talk to the leaders of all these
countries at one tine and to try to map out an agenda. Out I don't
want to prewrite what's going to happen there because it might get a
little better as we ao alona.

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THE PRESIDENT: well, we don't know yet. But I's hoping
that they'll be very vell represented and I kind of think they will
be. We owe the last question to an Australian journalist
because we promised 50/ 50. Oo ahead.
Q I appreciate it. For both of you gentlemen, do you
See that the NAFTA THE PRESIDENT; He's not an Australian journalist.
( Laughter.) Q No, for the ABC the Australian Broadcast
Corporation. THE PRESIDENT: Oh really? Okay, go ahead. ( Laughter.)
Q You talked a lot about
THE PRESIDENT: I thought ve'd'get an American trying to
mimic an Australian accent. ( Laughter.) I didn't realize we had
go ahead. Q You've talked a lot about the NAFTA process and
GAT. And for both of you, do you see any positive impact of having
the alternatives of NAFTA and QATT baving alternatives of NMATA
and APEC for the GATTprocess? is there a certain political leverage
that you get out of it? I believe Mickey Kantor had Ambassador
Kantor had talked about that during one of the congressional
hearings. Is there a positive impact going back to the GATT process?
PRINZ MINISTZR 5CATING: Well, I think APEC and NAlTA,
too, end Up being GATT-plus options. They are GATT plus. But in the
event that GATT did fail, they do define themselves as freer trade
areas. In the case of MAFTA, in the case of APLC, defining an area
which has got enormous mass, an enormous weight economic mass and
economic weight and economic growth. So the United States looking
into that all of us locking into that, lifting the velocity of
that means that in defining a new economic and trading community, in
getting that growth up this is at least some alternative than where
we'd have been in the unhappy position of the GATT Round failing.
Now, frankly, I don't think the GATT Round will fail. I
don't think the Europeans can let the French decide that the world's
trading round should fail. I don't think the French will want to
carry the Odium Of the round failing at their expense. And
therefore, I believe there's much in the GAT Round succeeding.
But I do see NAFTA and APEC aS GATT-plus overlays or
overlays to the GAT. but you can also see them in place thereof in
part as discrete area communities where we can all benefit by freer
trade. Q ( Inaudible.)
PRIME MINISTER KEATINQ Well, I think you've got to say
this, that APEC equals growth, equals jobs. I think NAPTA equals
growth, equals jobs. And that's the point the President was making
earlier. THE PRESIDENT: I couldn't give a better answer than
that. Thank you very much.
THE PAESS: Thank vou.

Transcript 8965