Remarks Announcing the ``Export Now'' Campaign
you, Secretary Verity, Van Smith, and Jack Murphy. I'm especially pleased also
that Governor Baliles is here today. He and several
other Governors realize the importance of healthy, robust trade and have been
champions of such international commerce. I couldn't be more pleased to join
you today to launch the ``Export Now'' campaign.
the doomsayers haven't grasped the magnitude of what is happening in
international commerce, our manufacturers, farmers, and world traders are already
in the process of regaining
We're in the midst of a great trade turnabout. Why? Well, there are several parts to the answer, as you all know. Obviously, the fact that the dollar's exchange rate is now at a far more realistic level is of great significance. One of the primary goals of ``Export Now'' is to drive home the point to middle-sized and smaller businesses that new opportunities are emerging because of the adjustment in the value of the dollar.
short, exporting, for American businesses -- large and small -- is now a
profitable option. At the current exchange rates, many American companies can
now quote a lower price to their customers in
Quality products and good service are also part of the trade equation. And in the last few years, American industry has been going through an unprecedented period of renovation, computerization, and modernization. The commitment behind the dramatic changes I'm talking about resulted from the rude shock American business experienced when hit by the wave of imports some years ago. But our corporate leaders and working men and women did not give up, not in the least. They slimmed down. They became more efficient. They shut down obsolete plants. They worked to develop a new spirit of cooperation between management and labor, and placed much greater emphasis on quality and getting the job done right.
now, as the exchange rate adjustments have opened new opportunities, our
business community is ready to meet the competition. You know, there's a saying
in sports, ``No pain, no gain.'' Well, American business has taken the pains,
and now it's ready for the gains. What we don't need now, however, is
protectionism that undermines all the progress we've made. I strongly urge
Congress to send me a trade bill that does not imperil our ability to export by
causing other countries to close their markets.
are provisions in the legislation currently in conference that encourage
exports, and we don't want to lose those, but there are also some totally
objectionable provisions -- including measures that are GATT-illegal [General
Agreement on Tariffs and Trade] and reduce
visited a number of plants last year in various parts of the United States, and
I must say I was deeply impressed by what I saw -- whether it was at
Harley-Davidson in Pennsylvania, Dictaphone in Florida, Broan
in Wisconsin, or Somerset Technologies in New Jersey. The working people of
this country are ready and willing to compete head on. And I happen to believe
that on a level playing field they can outproduce and
outdo anyone, anywhere. Again,
in 1973, when American auto manufacturers needed help in complying with the
Clean Air Act, Corning Glass Works developed the catalytic converter. For 3
Fire Control, Incorporated, doused all the fires it could find in
Change is the order of the day for a dynamic and expanding economy. Today new opportunities are opening as the people of the free world are brought closer together by technology and the elimination of political barriers to commerce. A great milestone in this evolutionary process will be the adoption of the U.S.-Canada free trade agreement. Our own businesses -- big and small -- need to be ready for the expanding horizons that will result from this historic agreement.
Bill, your ``Export Now'' program has come along at exactly the right time, and I'm delighted to support this initiative. I also want to commend Jim Abdnor, the Administrator of the Small Business Administration, who has been working to stimulate small businesses' interest in exporting. The conditions are right. We're already off to a great beginning in export growth. And now let's show the world what we can do.
Thank you all very much.
Note: The President
spoke at in Room 450 of the