Statement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on the United States National Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation

September 18, 1984

In his meeting today with the Committee, President Reagan will point to the growing importance of the Pacific to the United States and reiterate his personal commitment to strengthening and expanding America's cooperative ties with nations of that region. The President will make his remarks during a reception given for a group of prominent Americans active in U.S. relations with the nations of the Pacific Basin.

The White House reception precedes the founding meeting of the group, the United States National Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation. The bipartisan committee includes approximately 50 leaders from the country's business, government, and academic communities, and is an outgrowth of regional economic discussions held over the past 4 years. Its formation is an important step in the continuing progress toward improved communications and cooperation among the countries of the Pacific.

The Committee, a private nonprofit body, corresponds to similar bodies being formed elsewhere in the Pacific region. Among its roles will be coordination of the United States contribution to the region-wide economic dialog carried out under the auspices of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference. It is also expected to serve as a focal point of U.S. economic policy and strategy toward the Pacific. Serving on the Committee are Members of Congress, leading corporate executives involved in Asia-Pacific trade, representatives from several executive branch departments and agencies, numerous Asia-Pacific scholars, and representatives of such organizations as the Asia Foundation and the Asia Society.