Statement on the Proposed Department of International Trade and Industry

June 1, 1983

In recent years, international trade has become increasingly central to the American economy. Today, one of every eight American manufacturing jobs is related to exports. Every billion dollars in exports supports 25,000 jobs.

I am proud of the team we have brought to Washington to work on trade issues. We have come to believe through our experience that the executive branch can -- and should -- be better organized to tackle the issues on this front.

Today I am pleased to announce plans that would place responsibility for both trade policymaking and implementation in a single department.

This new department can not only provide a leaner, more efficient, better coordinated approach to international trade but can also help us in achieving many key objectives:

-- a healthy and open system of international trade;

-- expansion of U.S. exports;

-- reduction of overseas barriers so that American firms can compete more effectively abroad;

-- encouragement of the private sector to seek out more opportunities overseas;

-- and of great importance, insurance that America speaks with a strong, unified voice in trade and industrial matters.

I urge the Congress to enact this plan into law as swiftly as possibile.