Message to the Congress Transmitting the Annual Report on International Activities in Science and Technology

 

March 14, 1988

 

To the Congress of the United States:

 

In accordance with Title V of the Foreign Relations Authorizations Act for Fiscal Year 1979 (Public Law 95 - 426), I am transmitting the Administration's annual report on international activities in science and technology (S&T) for Fiscal Year 1987. The report reflects a U.S. commitment to international scientific and technological cooperation of impressive range and depth.

 

New breakthroughs in 1987 demonstrated the increasing importance of international cooperation in science and technology. The discovery of superconductivity at high temperatures has the potential to revolutionize the way we work and live; international agreement on a protocol concerning protection of the ozone layer was a major accomplishment which will benefit future generations.

 

Official, government-to-government science and technology cooperation, such as our highly successful cooperative programs with India and China, supports our foreign policy objectives, as well as the mission objectives of the domestic agencies involved. Through the space sciences and environmental agreements we engaged in practical cooperation with the Soviet Union, while the signing of an S&T agreement during the Vice President's September 1987 visit to Warsaw provided a visible signal of our desire to improve relations with Poland. Such international cooperation should provide positive science and technology benefits to involved domestic U.S. agencies commensurate with their cost.

 

United States preeminence in science and technology has been a major force in our leadership of the free world since World War II. Today we are putting new emphasis on assuring continued U.S. strength in science and technology in the years ahead. Employing science and technology to improve American industry's competitiveness is a major objective of this Administration. On April 10, 1987, I issued an Executive order to facilitate industry access to federally funded research and development and to assure more effective access by American researchers to developments in science and technology abroad. In negotiating new S&T agreements, we are seeking equitable access by American researchers to foreign research facilities, balance in the contributions and benefits for countries participating in the agreements, and assurance of protection for intellectual property rights.

 

We are working with our economic partners and allies to ensure that all industrialized countries make equitable contributions to the world scientific enterprise. We are negotiating with Japan to restructure our Head of State-level S&T agreement to reflect new realities, including Japan's prowess in science and technology.

 

In numerous developing countries, science and technology are instrumental in furthering U.S. foreign policy objectives. Agency for International Development-funded programs continue to produce major advances in the health sciences and increased global stability through improved agricultural output, while facilitating the entry of American vendors into overseas markets.

 

To implement the U.S.-Brazil Presidential S&T initiative announced in September 1986, a distinguished binational panel of scientific experts met twice during 1987 and identified priority areas of research for cooperative projects. The recommendations of that eminent panel will be considered by the U.S.-Brazil Joint Commission for an expanded program of cooperation, as envisioned in the 1986 initiative.

 

Impressive gains were made in Fiscal Year 1987 in utilizing our S&T relations to enhance America's defensive capabilities through increased foreign participation in the Strategic Defense Initiative and through other cooperative S&T activities, such as those carried out under NATO auspices. At the same time we have negotiated several agreements that significantly strengthen free-world efforts to control illicit transfer of advanced technology to potential adversaries.

 

Participation in international science and technology activities is vital to U.S. national security in the broadest sense. Science and technology can be a powerful force to enrich cooperative relations with friends and adversaries, as well as to strengthen our Nation's competitive posture in the economic arena. International cooperation can accelerate the rate of scientific discovery and the development of new technologies to meet the needs and challenges of the future. In many cases, the benefits of such cooperation accrue first to the partners in the joint effort, and such returns make it feasible to sustain a long-term commitment to cooperation. Ultimately, however, all the world's people are beneficiaries. I remain committed to the belief that international cooperation in S&T is vital to the future prosperity and security of our Nation and of the earth.

 

Ronald Reagan

 

The White House,

 

March 14, 1988.