Radio Address to the
Nation on Economic Growth and Free and Fair Trade
June 11, 1988
one week, I go to Toronto for the annual economic
summit with the leaders of the major industrial democracies. The United States along with our strong
allies -- Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and the European
Community -- form the industrial and technological backbone of the free world.
will be my eighth and final economic summit, and there'll be much to celebrate.
Perhaps foremost will be the worldwide economic revolution that has unleashed
ever greater levels of prosperity with lower tax rates. America led the way with major
tax cuts and tax reform, and the other major industrial democracies have either
cut their tax rates or are now in the process of doing so. I'm proud to say
that we now lead the world with the lowest top personal tax rate of any of the
major economic powers. We are also leading the way in creating jobs, providing
employment for a greater percentage of our labor force than any of the other
major industrial democracies. In fact, U.S. employment is at its
highest level ever, and we've also brought down inflation and interest rates.
not surprising that country after country has followed us on the path to
greater economic freedom and begun to replace their statist
policies with deregulation, privatization, and freer trade. One of the great
lessons of the last 7 years is that when people in free economies are allowed
to trade with one another around the world the result is greater prosperity for
us all. Certainly, the United States has been one of the
biggest gainers in the global economy. You've probably heard that we're now in
the longest peacetime economic expansion in U.S. history. But this is
also the first economic expansion in the postwar period in which the U.S. economy has grown
faster than most of its major trading partners. So, yes, we're doing
particularly well, but when free countries trade and invest with one another,
there are no losers, only winners.
we have a global economy in which the United States is at the very center.
Of total foreign direct investment in the world, nearly 40 percent, by far the
largest share, consists of Americans investing overseas. But it's not a one-way
street. At the same time, the United States also receives more
foreign investment from abroad than any other country. So, we truly are the
investment capital of the world. The same thing is true regarding trade. We
import more and export more than any other country on Earth.
that in mind, I want to reaffirm my commitment to enactment this year of
responsible trade legislation. To help achieve positive trade legislation, I've
directed my senior advisers to stand ready to assist the congressional
leadership on a new trade bill -- one that will strengthen America's international
competitiveness and create even more new jobs for Americans. And make no mistake, the global economy is the basis of our prosperity
and the foundation of our economic future. I can think of no surer way of
derailing our economy than to try through protectionist measures to seal America off from trade and
investment with the other countries of the world.
reminded of the story of the Sunday school teacher who asks her class, ``Who wants to go to heaven?'' Well, all of the children raise
their hands except for one little boy in the back of the room. The teacher,
astounded, says, ``Charlie, don't you want to go to heaven?'' ``Sure I do,'' he
says, ``just not with this bunch.'' Well, fortunately, we and our trading
partners are going to deal with economic matters together because that's the
only way to move ahead. I'm glad to say we're moving away from protectionism
and toward greater economic growth and job creation.
of the historic events of our time is the U.S.-Canada free trade agreement that
I entered into this year with Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. This agreement
between the world's two greatest trading partners will eliminate tariff
barriers between the United States and Canada by the year 1999 and
establish the largest free trade area on Earth. The advantages to both our
countries will be enormous in terms of jobs and prosperity. But as much as this
pathbreaking agreement does for the people of the United States and Canada, this agreement, looked
at in the sweep of history, is truly a gift to the world. It creates a model
that can be imitated and expanded and ultimately made universal among free
nations. And that's something we can truly be proud of.
finally, Tuesday is Flag Day, the anniversary of the first official American
flag. Nancy and I hope that you'll join us and millions of other Americans
Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. eastern daylight time in the annual ``Pause for the
next week, thanks for listening, and God bless you.