Remarks to Reporters on the Proposed International Trade Bill

June 19, 1987

I have a brief statement here, and I will not be taking any questions, because we're already quite behind schedule, and the morning is early.

The trade bill that was recently passed by the House of Representatives would move us exactly in the wrong direction: toward high tariffs and trade barriers, trade-distorting subsidies that slow growth and shrink world markets, destroy jobs. And I would have no choice but to veto that bill in its present form.

The administration has been working closely with the various Senate committees, as you know, to craft a bill that enhances prospects for U.S. exports. But we've some problems that we'll be discussing here today. And the United States cannot and will not allow itself to become party to a trade war. We must continue to go forward on a positive course, opening up markets where they're closed, working to expand world trade and the millions of jobs it creates rather than shrinking the global economy and sending millions out of work.

Note: The President spoke at 9:40 a.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House, prior to a meeting with the Republican congressional leadership.