|Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Remarks at Roundtable Discussion with Representatives of U.S. Businesses in Argentina
Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 16, 2000
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
[Text as prepared for delivery]
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Thank you, Mr. Paz Soldan, for that kind introduction and I want to thank the American Chamber of Commerce for bringing us all together this morning. I find these meetings very helpful and a good opportunity to compare notes. This is an exciting and productive time for U.S.-Argentine relations and the American business community has an enormous role to play here.
U.S. direct investment in Argentina is approaching $16 billion and we remain Argentina's largest investor. While U.S. investors are clearly doing their part, we all know it takes two to tango, and I am encouraged by President de la Rua's efforts to combat corruption and to open up previously protected sectors of the economy. This is not just good policy for American business, it is good practice for the people of Argentina.
The Clinton Administration is committed to promoting free trade in the hemisphere because a climate of privatization and deregulation that creates opportunity sustains political and economic reforms. This, in turn, creates a virtuous cycle in which good governance creates more opportunities for investors, and greater prosperity for people.
This is why we are committed to building a Free Trade Area of the Americas and applaud Argentina's leadership in the process. The U.S. is working closely with Mercosur to open markets throughout the hemisphere while simultaneously strengthening democratic institutions. This is an area that I hope we can discuss further.
I hope we can have a candid exchange this morning and discuss your views on the local and regional investment climate and obstacles to doing business here. Promoting U.S. business is one of the most important things we do. And now I want to hear from you.
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