|Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Prepared statement before the House International Relations Committee, FY-98 International Affairs Budget
Washington, D.C., February 11, 1997
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, it is an honor and a pleasure to testify before you for the first time as Secretary of State. As Ambassador to the UN, I benefited greatly from our constructive dialogue over the past four years. I look forward now to continuing our relationship with the same candor and commitment -- and to working with you on an even broader array of challenges facing our nation and the world.
Mr. Chairman, more than seven years have passed since the fall of the Berlin Wall and five years since the demise of the Soviet Union. Today, America is secure, our economy vibrant, and our ideals ascendant. Across the globe, the movement towards open societies and open markets is wider and deeper than ever before. Democracy's triumph is neither accidental nor irreversible; it is the result of sustained American leadership. It would not have been possible without the power of our example, the strength of our military, or the constancy and creativity of our diplomacy. That is the central lesson of the twentieth century -- and this lesson must continue to guide us if we are to safeguard our interests as we enter the twenty-first.
Make no mistake: the interests served by American foreign policy are not the abstract inventions of State Department planners; they are the concrete realities of our daily lives. Think about it. Would the American people be as secure if weapons of mass destruction, instead of being controlled, fell into the wrong hands? That is precisely what would have happened if the Administration and Congress had not acted to ensure the dismantling of Iraq's nuclear weapons program, the freezing of North Korea's, and the securing of Russia's.
Would we be as safe if small conflicts, instead of being contained early, spread across entire regions? That is what would have happened had we not devised a formula for ending the war in Bosnia and had we not persisted in our search for a comprehensive Middle East peace.
Or would we be as prosperous if the global economy, instead of becoming more open to our trade and investment, had caved in and closed up behind protectionist walls? That is what would have happened had we not pushed hard to achieve NAFTA and the GATT Uruguay Round agreements -- and to expand trade through our hemisphere and across the Pacific.
The great divide in the world today is not between east and west or north and south; it is between those who are the prisoners of history and those determined to shape history. That is not only a statement of fact; it is a stark choice for us to make. Mr. Chairman, that is the same choice America faced 50 years ago in the aftermath of World War Two. It was not self-evident then that we would make the right choice. We were tired of war, and we were just a few years removed from the Great Depression. But fortunately for our generation, President Truman, Secretary Marshall, and Senator Vandenberg and other leading members of Congress from both parties were determined that America should lead rather than withdraw. In a bipartisan manner and together with our allies, they forged a set of institutions that have for a half-century successfully defended freedom, rebuilt economies, upheld law, and prevented war.
Since the end of the Cold War, we have chosen a similar course. We have begun to build a new framework of American leadership appropriate to the challenges of a new century. In so doing, we are required to address not a single overriding threat such as Soviet Communism but rather a variety of perils -- some as old as ethnic strife; some as deadly as terrorist bombs; some as pervasive as illegal drugs; and some as new as global warming.
To respond effectively to diverse threats, we require a full range of foreign policy tools. That is why we need to retain a military that is versatile, mobile, ready, and strong -- and as President Clinton has pledged, we will. But force, being a blunt instrument and one with sometimes extreme consequences, cannot solve all our problems. There will be many occasions, in many places, where we will rely on diplomacy to protect our interests, and we will expect our diplomats to defend those interests with skill, knowledge, and spine.
Mr. Chairman, while our military is the ultimate guarantor of our freedom, our diplomats are our first line of defense. One of my most important tasks as Secretary of State will be to work with you and your colleagues in Congress to maintain the superb diplomatic representation that our people deserve and our interests demand. As I said in my confirmation hearing, we cannot have world-class diplomacy on the cheap. We must invest the resources required for American leadership.
In recent years, these resources have dwindled. During the last four years, the State Department has cut more than 2,000 employees, closed more than 30 embassies and consulates, and deferred the badly-needed modernization of infrastructure and communications. We have deeply reduced our foreign assistance programs, and we now contribute a smaller percentage of our national income to growth and democracy in the developing world than any other industrialized nation. We are the largest debtor to the United Nations and the international financial institutions.
Our spending on international affairs constitutes barely one percent of the federal budget. If this small amount were to be cut further, it is our influence in the world, not the deficit, that would decline. In his State of the Union address last week, President Clinton said, "If America is to continue to lead the world, we here who lead America simply must find the will to pay our way."
The FY'98 budget that the President has submitted to Congress seeks to restore our diplomatic readiness, including a modest increase in the funding of State Department operations. In my view, the entire $19.45 billion requested for international affairs is required to sustain American leadership. I ask your support for this budget. In so doing, I pledge my own best efforts, and I am determined to work closely with you, to guarantee that the American people receive full value for every dollar spent on our diplomacy.
Mr. Chairman, I want to review with you today our developing framework for continued American leadership in the world and to highlight parts of our budget that will support it. This framework includes measures to control weapons of mass destruction, to prevent or settle dangerous regional conflicts, to maintain the United States as the hub of an expanding global economy, and to promote fundamental principles of democracy and respect for the rule of law. But we will not achieve these goals unless we are also able to reinforce our alliances and manage well our key bilateral relationships.
Leadership with Key Partners
Our relations with the world's major powers help bind together not only American diplomacy but the entire international system. By acting together, the leading nations are able to elevate overall standards of international behavior, spur economic and social progress, and strengthen the rule of law.
On Saturday, I will begin a visit to a number of key capitals in Europe and Asia. My purpose will be to establish or renew my personal acquaintance with leaders there and to discuss the range of pressing issues before us. My goal is not to reach new agreements, but to exchange views and to lay a strong foundation for enhanced cooperation, especially in the year just ahead.
If the fundamental lesson of this century is indeed that America must lead, one of its major corollaries is that we must remain a European power. We have an interest in Europe's security, because since the founding of our Republic we have known that the Atlantic Ocean is not an impregnable barrier for our defense. We have an interest in Europe's prosperity, because our own prosperity has always depended greatly on our trans-Atlantic trade and investment. And we have an interest in Europe's freedom, because it was the triumph of democracy there that ended the Cold War.
Today, American leadership in Europe is on solid ground. America led the way in revitalizing NATO, ending the carnage in Bosnia, mobilizing support for Russian democracy, and upholding the independence of Europe's new democratic nations. Now we are on the verge of realizing one of the most elusive dreams of this century -- an integrated, stable, and democratic Europe. To fully reach our goal, we have three challenges to meet: We must create a new and larger NATO, while promoting the integration of all of the continent's new democracies. We must build close and constructive partnerships with Russia and Ukraine. And we must promote democracy, maintain stability, and defuse tensions throughout southeastern Europe -- and particularly in the former Yugoslavia.
In 1994, President Clinton proposed and our allies embraced a program to adapt NATO to meet new challenges. These efforts will reach a new milestone at this July's NATO summit in Madrid. At the summit, the Alliance will invite several nations to begin negotiations to join NATO and will approve important changes in NATO's internal structure. The negotiations leading to the NATO summit will be among the most ambitious and complex in the history of the Alliance. In the coming months, Mr. Chairman, Administration officials will be making the case to the Congress and the American people why the new, larger NATO will advance our vital interests.
At its core, that case is this: Fifty years ago, the birth of NATO united new democracies, vanquished old hatreds, boosted economic reconstruction, and prevented future conflicts. What NATO did then for Europe's west, it can do now for Europe's east -- the region where this century's two global hot wars and the Cold War began. The process of enlargement has already encouraged the settlement of historic disputes between Hungary and Romania, Germany and the Czech Republic, and Poland and Ukraine. In the future, it can increase our confidence that there will be no more Bosnias, that the democratic revolutions of 1989 will endure, and that the Cold War-style division of Europe will not re-open in some new and dangerous form.
That is what we are trying to achieve. Just as important is what we are trying to avoid. For there are only two real alternatives to enlargement. We could replace the Alliance with a lowest-common-denominator NATO that includes everyone and imposes obligations on no one. That would devalue and degrade NATO. Or we could delay enlargement indefinitely, freezing NATO's membership along its Cold War frontier. That would create not only a permanent injustice, but also a permanent source of tension and insecurity in the heart of Europe.
Of course, as we move forward, we must make sure no new lines are drawn across Europe. That is why we are strengthening NATO's Partnership for Peace, and why our financial support for the Partnership is vital. It is why we support the expansion of the EU and the courageous work the OSCE has done from Chechnya to Bosnia. It is also why funding under the SEED Act remains critical. Our assistance has helped nations from Estonia to the Czech Republic establish thriving democracies and thereby graduate from our program. But aid is still desperately needed in struggling democracies like Bulgaria and Romania.
One of the President's top budget priorities is the Partnership for Freedom initiative, which will open a new phase in our assistance to Russia and the other New Independent States. The first phase was devoted to establishing the basic institutions of democracy and a market economy. On the whole, this assistance has been enormously successful -- especially in promoting private ownership, free elections, and civil society. Our efforts will now focus on boosting trade and investment, thereby unleashing the potential for long-term growth that is central to the transformation of these societies.
Mr. Chairman, Russia and many of its neighbors are making choices today that will have monumental consequences for our security and the cause of human freedom. At stake is this: Will they emerge as normal democracies with growing market economies that are fully part of the European mainstream? Or will they become poor and isolated nations, plagued by instability, corruption, and crime? These are not choices we can make. But we can choose to help those in each society who are determined to make the right choice.
Certainly, our interests are clear: A strong and permanent democratic process in Russia and the other New Independent States will enhance our security, aid in the fight against proliferation, help combat international crime, provide new economic opportunities, and create a climate of lasting stability in a region as vital to our future as it has been central to our past.
We understand that Russia opposes the enlargement of NATO and we do not expect that to change. We must address Russia's legitimate concerns, but it is not in our interest to delay or derail a process that is helping to build a reunited Europe. In any case, the decisions NATO makes in Brussels and in our allied capitals are not going to determine the fate of Russia's democracy. That will depend on the ability of Russia's leaders to meet the real needs of their people and to speed Russia's economic recovery and revival.
What NATO can do and what it wants to do is to make Russia our full partner in building a united and peaceful Europe. NATO has proposed a formal charter to Russia that will allow us to cooperate, consult, train and respond to crises together. We have made steady progress toward this goal, which will be a major subject of my discussions in Europe.
The success of Ukraine's new democracy is also fundamental to Europe's future. Of the New Independent States, Ukraine was the first to experience a transfer of power between two democratically elected governments. More recently, President Kuchma has launched a bold program of reform that has reduced inflation and prevented an economic collapse. Our relations with Ukraine are based on a solid foundation of shared interests, including the achievement of a more secure and integrated Europe. As with Russia, we have established a binational commission, chaired on our side by Vice President Gore, to set the agenda for cooperation on a wide range of important issues.
Today, the greatest test of Europe's capacity to act together on behalf of European security is in Bosnia, where NATO and non-NATO nations alike are implementing the Dayton accords. IFOR carried out its military mission in Bosnia brilliantly, but more time is needed for political reconciliation and economic reconstruction. SFOR will give Bosnia the opportunity to make its new peace self-sustaining. Our strategy is to continue diminishing the need for an international military presence by establishing a stable military balance, improving judicial and legal institutions, helping more people return safely to their homes, and seeing that more of those indicted as war criminals are arrested and prosecuted.
In Bosnia, the immediate task is to determine the status of Brcko and the date of municipal elections -- both of which are critical milestones in completing the implementation of the Dayton accords. Beyond Bosnia, we will continue to make clear that the nations of the former Yugoslavia can rejoin Europe only as free and open societies.
For the past 13 months, almost every nation in Europe has worked together to bring hope to the continent's most fragile region. Our challenge is to extend this spirit of cooperation to all the ties that bind our New Atlantic Community.
Mr. Chairman, while this century has taught us that America's vital interests are intertwined with those of Europe, it has also shown that our security and prosperity hinge equally on events in Asia. Indeed, since the turn of the century, the United States has been a Pacific power. Three times in the last six decades, we have fought wars in Asia. Since World War Two, we have been actively engaged in the Asia-Pacific, and in recent years our leadership has contributed to the emergence of many of the world's most dynamic economies. Moreover, from South Korea to the Philippines, and from Mongolia to Thailand and Taiwan, there has been a steady advance of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law -- developments that highlight the universal aspiration for freedom.
President Clinton has given new prominence to Asia in our foreign policy. Together with our partners, we have begun building an Asia-Pacific community. We are opening markets for American goods, services, and capital -- both bilaterally and through APEC. We are strengthening our core alliances and maintaining our forward deployment of 100,000 troops in the western Pacific. We are supporting new multilateral security dialogues such as the ASEAN Regional Forum. And we are continuing to support new democracies and to stress the importance of respect for human rights.
Our alliance with a democratic and prosperous Japan is one of the great successes of the postwar era. Today, our two nations cooperate on a host of bilateral, regional, and global issues. We have fortified our military ties through last year's Security Declaration, and we have brought greater balance to our economic relationship through an unprecedented 22 trade agreements negotiated since 1993. By means of our ambitious Common Agenda, we are addressing complex global issues such as AIDS, pollution, and unsustainable population growth. And together we are supporting democracy in Haiti and Russia, and peace in Bosnia and the Middle East.
We are cooperating with Japan and another valued ally, the Republic of Korea, to implement the Agreed Framework freezing North Korea's development of nuclear arms. In recent weeks, we have worked closely with the South Korean government to reduce tensions with the North and to regain momentum in the peace process. I ask for your support of our FY'98 funding of KEDO, which will be critical to sustaining this renewed momentum. The United States is currently the largest contributor to KEDO. But in the future, Japan and the Republic of Korea will eclipse us by far as they pay for the construction of two light-water reactors in North Korea. We will also continue to press the proposal made by Presidents Clinton and Kim for Four-Party talks on achieving permanent peace on the peninsula.
China's emergence as a world power and the evolution of its relations with other nations will do much to determine the history of our era. That is why we must continue to expand our ties, and why we are encouraging China's active and responsible participation in the international community. Our two nations share many common interests and have already cooperated on many issues -- including the Korean Peninsula, international crime, nuclear testing, and the global environment. At the same time, we have had significant differences on trade, arms transfers, and human rights.
We have important interests in Hong Kong, our thirteenth largest trading partner. China will soon regain sovereignty over Hong Kong, but Hong Kong will not cut its ties to our nation and the world. We look to China to live up to the letter and spirit of its accord with the United Kingdom on the reversion of Hong Kong. In that agreement, China pledged to maintain Hong Kong's open economy, democratic government, distinct legal system, and civil liberties. By honoring its pledge, China will not only help assure Hong Kong's future, it will also enhance the PRC's standing and contribute to its own growing prosperity. I look forward to discussing this issue during my upcoming visit to Beijing and other capitals.
While our interests demand that we maintain strong relations with Europe and Asia, we are first and foremost a nation of the Americas. Never before has the Western Hemisphere been more free or more prosperous. And never before have our relationships with our Latin American and Caribbean neighbors been so strong. When the hemisphere's democratic trend was threatened in Haiti, it was our decisive action that restored legitimate government. And when free markets were threatened by the financial crisis in Mexico, it took our leadership to restore confidence.
Mexico's repayment of our loan three years ahead of schedule has vindicated President Clinton's bold decision and given confidence in our neighbor's ability to take tough but necessary actions. We are continuing to encourage further political and economic reform in Mexico, with which we share a 2,000-mile border and many common interests -- including the combating of crime, narcotics, illegal migration, and damage to the environment. The President and I will also continue to press our allies and friends to join with us in isolating Cuba's dictatorship. In South America, the strength of our relations with Argentina, Brazil, and Chile was demonstrated when our four nations cooperated to end the border violence between Ecuador and Peru in early 1995. Across the hemisphere, we must continue to foster the spirit of cooperation that we forged at the historic Summit of the Americas in Miami two years ago.
Leadership to Control Deadly Arms
Mr. Chairman, with American leadership, the world has made important progress in controlling nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. The hands of the doomsday clock, once so close to midnight, have retreated. For the first time since the beginning of the nuclear age, no Russian missiles are pointed at the United States, and no American missiles are pointed at Russia. Nuclear weapons have been removed from Belarus, Kazakstan, and Ukraine. Iraq's nuclear capability has been dismantled, and North Korea's frozen. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty has been extended indefinitely and unconditionally, and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty has been approved.
Despite these advances, the threat is far from over. That is why arms control and non-proliferation remain a fundamental part of our foreign policy framework, and why our continued support of ACDA and the IAEA remains an important part of our budget.
Our most immediate arms control imperative is to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention, or CWC, before it enters into force in late April. As you know, the CWC was negotiated by the Reagan and Bush Administrations, and signed in January 1993 by Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger. It enjoys wide support among our two parties, military leaders, and the business community. Like any arms control agreement, the CWC is not a panacea. But it will be a powerful tool in preventing those hostile to our interests from developing or obtaining chemical weapons. Approval of the Convention would make all our people safer, while making it less likely that our armed forces will encounter chemical weapons on the battlefield.
We have several other priorities as well. We will seek the Senate's swift approval of the CFE Flank Agreement, which will fortify the CFE Treaty and thereby enhance European security. We will be working with Russia to secure the Duma's early ratification of the START II Treaty and then begin negotiations for further reductions in our nuclear arsenals. And we will continue our pursuit of a global agreement to ban the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of anti-personnel landmines.
Finally, we are taking important measures in addition to the CWC that are designed to prevent weapons of mass destruction from being obtained by those who might be tempted to use them. We are working to improve the security and prevent the diversion of fissile materials. We have convinced the other 32 major arms suppliers in the Wassenaar Arrangement not to trade in arms or sensitive technologies with Iran and other countries who have a proven disregard for international standards. And we are insisting on the maintenance of tough sanctions on Iraq unless and until it complies with relevant Security Council resolutions.
Leadership in Support of Peace
Mr. Chairman, because of America's unique capabilities and unmatched power, the world often looks to us to help end conflicts and respond to crises. Yet our primary obligation is to protect our own citizens. We have limited resources and broad -- but still limited -- interests. To maintain our credibility and avoid quagmires, we must be careful in our commitments and selective in our actions.
Nevertheless, we recognize that occasions will arise when our interests and those of our allies require an active American role. We also understand that small conflicts may, if left unattended, grow into large ones that will create dangers for us that could have been avoided. Accordingly, during the past four years, President Clinton and Secretary Christopher have been steadfast in supporting peace in those regions of the world where our interests are engaged. We recognize that while we cannot impose solutions, we can make it easier for the champions of peace to take the risks required to achieve it.
In the Middle East, last month's agreement on the redeployment of Israeli forces in Hebron was an extraordinary success for U.S. diplomacy. The intensive negotiations helped to create new confidence and trust between the Israelis and Palestinians. The agreement not only provides a road map for the future of their relations, it restores momentum to the overall peace process.
I congratulate Prime Minister Netanyahu and Chairman Arafat for their courage in personally concluding the accord, and I thank King Hussein for his important role in helping to bring the long talks to a successful end. Former Secretary Christopher and special coordinator Dennis Ross and his team deserve great credit for their tremendous effort not only on the Hebron agreement but throughout the past four years. You may be assured that I will maintain fully America's commitment to an active U.S. role in this region of vital importance to our interests.
To maintain the momentum produced by the Hebron agreement, we have a three-part agenda. First, we will support continued progress between the Israelis and Palestinians. Second, we will search for ways to stimulate the negotiations between Israel and Syria and between Israel and Lebanon. And third, we will encourage other Arab states to expand their ties with Israel. To support all these efforts, we must preserve our current levels of bilateral assistance to Israel, Egypt, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza, and Lebanon.
As you know, Prime Minister Netanyahu and Chairman Arafat will visit Washington shortly, and President Mubarak and King Hussein will come next month. Under President Clinton's leadership, we will persevere in our quest for a secure, comprehensive, and lasting peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors. In all our efforts, we will be guided by America's unwavering commitment to Israel's security and by our equally strong opposition to those who would use violence and terror to deter the advent of peace.
In Cyprus, the long-standing conflict between the Turkish and Greek communities remains unresolved. Last year's increased violence on the island impeded efforts to restart negotiations, but it also dramatized the urgent need for a lasting solution. The dispute, of course, divides more than the two Cypriot communities; it continues to act as a wedge between two NATO allies, Turkey and Greece. In so doing, it threatens European stability and our vital interests. Accordingly, the United States is prepared to play a larger role in promoting a resolution to the conflict. But for such an effort to yield results, the parties must agree to concrete steps that will reduce tensions, build confidence, and make productive negotiations possible.
In Northern Ireland, we are encouraged that multiparty talks began last June, but we are disappointed by their lack of progress. Still, we recognize the historic significance of gathering the representatives of the nationalist and unionist communities as well as of the British and Irish governments around one table. Meanwhile, we deplore the IRA's return to violence, and we support the decision to bar Sinn Fein from the talks until the IRA restores an unequivocal and lasting cease-fire. I applaud Senator Mitchell and his Canadian and Finnish colleagues for their determined leadership of the negotiations. We will certainly work hard for a breakthrough in the coming months.
In Central Africa, we are cooperating with regional leaders and our allies to prevent further tragedy in this area already so devastated by genocide, refugees, and war. In Rwanda, most of the refugees have returned home, but we will continue to do our part in providing emergency assistance until the remaining refugees have been reintegrated. In Burundi, we are urging the government and the rebels to declare a cease-fire and begin serious talks on national reconciliation. And in Zaire, we are deeply concerned by recent signs that heavy fighting will resume in the eastern part of the country. We maintain support for a resolution of the conflict based on recognition of Zaire's territorial integrity and full respect of human rights.
Given Central Africa's continuing crisis, we will give priority to our proposal for the African Crisis Response Force. The ACRF would give Africa a standing force for carrying out peacekeeping missions. The international community would supply the training and equipment, but African nations would themselves supply the soldiers and the military leaders.
In Africa generally, the prospects for democracy and economic growth are improving. Many of Africa's new democratic governments are facilitating growth through policies that allow private enterprise to take hold, while investing public resources wisely in education, health, and measures that expand opportunities for women. We will work with Africa's democratic leaders to broaden and deepen these trends. But daunting problems of debt, conflict, environmental stress, and inadequate investment remain. It is in our interest to help Africa's leaders overcome these problems and to build a continent that is more prosperous, democratic, and stable. We will foster the integration of Africa into the global economy and help deserving countries, where we can, through targeted programs of bilateral aid.
In Africa and elsewhere, the United States will continue to promote sustainable development and to provide humanitarian and refugee assistance when crises occur. But our limited resources create a powerful incentive for us to strengthen other mechanisms for responding to emergencies and conflicts -- including the peacekeeping, development, and humanitarian activities of the United Nations. The President is requesting $100 million this year and a $921 million advance appropriation, to be made available next year, to pay our arrears to the UN and other international organizations. Our goal is to ensure continued American leadership within these organizations and to work with other member states, in consultation with Congress, towards further UN reform.
Mr. Chairman, this is an area where it is absolutely imperative that we establish common ground. American leadership at the UN matters. For four years I had the privilege of sitting in the Security Council, behind a sign that read simply "the United States," defending American interests. During that time, we maintained sanctions on Libya and Iraq. We argued for a balanced approach to the Middle East. We condemned the Cuban shootdown of unarmed aircraft. We authorized peacekeeping missions that have worked well in Angola, Haiti, Eastern Slavonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and elsewhere. We established a War Crimes Tribunal and are engaged in diplomacy to prevent a recurrence of genocide in central Africa.
In the General Assembly and other UN bodies, and in its specialized agencies, a great deal of the world's business is conducted. Compliance with nuclear safeguards is verified; efforts to end the exploitation of children are pursued; refugees are cared for; epidemic disease is contained; and standards are established that allow American companies to export billions of dollars in goods. This is but a sample. We have an enormous stake in this system -- a system that Americans did more than any other nation to create.
Now, we are at a critical point. We are one billion dollars behind in paying our assessment, which are required under rules to which our nation long ago voluntarily agreed. We have a broad agenda for reform that, if approved, would go far to prepare these organizations for the twenty-first century. We have a new Secretary General who has made it clear that he supports reform, but that he also believes -- as our nation has always believed -- that obligations should be met.
In the days ahead, I want to work with you to find a way to implement the President's plan. Our continued leadership at the UN depends upon it. Our principles require it. Our budget allows it. And our interests demand it.
Make no mistake. To those who are jealous or hostile to American leadership, these arrears are an open invitation to run America down. We need to put this issue behind us, and move forward with a better set of international organizations led by a strong and respected United States.
Leadership for a Global Economy
Mr. Chairman, shortly after President Clinton took office in 1993, he declared that "we must compete, not retreat." Since then, his leadership has produced spectacular success in creating jobs for Americans at home by opening markets abroad. We have signed more than 200 trade agreements and vigorously enforced our trade laws. We have passed NAFTA and concluded the GATT Uruguay Round. And we have forged the commitment of the Miami summit to complete negotiations by 2005 for a Free Trade Area of the Americas and the APEC commitment to achieve free and open trade in the Asia-Pacific by 2020.
These historic measures have contributed to a one-third increase in our exports since the beginning of 1993 and to the creation of 1.6 million new jobs. More important, this Administration has positioned the United States to become an even more dynamic hub of the global economy in the 21st century.
But we cannot rest on past progress. We will be working closely with other federal agencies and calling on our posts around the world to move forward on our economic agenda. In our hemisphere, we will seek the early addition of Chile to NAFTA on equitable terms and the extension to Central America and the Caribbean of arrangements equivalent to NAFTA. In the Asia-Pacific, we will ensure that our market agreements with Japan and our intellectual property rights agreements with China are fully implemented. We will also pursue wider access to key sectors in China, and work with China as it makes the changes necessary to gain acceptance to the WTO on commercially-acceptable terms. And we will encourage U.S. trade and investment with India as it continues to carry out path-breaking economic reforms.
In Europe, the New Transatlantic Agenda that we and our EU partners signed in 1995 provides a blueprint for making our trade even freer and easier. We will also intensify our efforts with our OECD partners to combat the corrupt trading practices that cheat American companies and workers -- and corrode the rule of law around the world. Finally, we will continue to work with our partners in the Middle East to strengthen the economic dimension of the peace process.
In today's fiercely competitive world markets, our firms must often compete with foreign companies that receive active support from their governments. That is why the State Department must -- and will -- do all it can to ensure that American firms and workers receive fair treatment. And that is why I ask you to continue your support for the programs of the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the Trade and Development Agency.
In addition to creating opportunities for U.S. businesses abroad, we must also continue to show leadership in the multilateral institutions that help the global economy to expand. I am confident that our firms can succeed in a truly fair competition. But our challenge is to keep the system fair. That takes hard work and vigilance. Within the WTO, we must make sound rules and ensure strong enforcement -- and we must persevere in our support for high standards on labor and business practices as well as on the environment.
We must not forget that developing countries around the world offer the fastest-growing markets for American companies. We must continue to encourage these countries to participate fully in the global economy. And where possible, we should support their reforms through our bilateral development assistance and through the multilateral development banks. For every $1 that the United States contributes, the Inter-American Development Bank lends out $40, the Asian Development Bank $80, and the World Bank $135.
Mr. Chairman, one of the most important ways we contribute to sustainable development is through our support for international family planning. By stabilizing population growth rates, developing nations can devote more of their scarce resources to meet the basic needs of their citizens. Moreover, our voluntary family planning programs serve our broader interests by elevating the status of women, reducing the flow of refugees, protecting the environment, and promoting economic growth. That is why I urge Congress to adopt a joint resolution by the end of the month to release immediately USAID's FY'97 population funds. As the President has determined, a further delay will cause a tragic rise in unintended pregnancies, abortions, and maternal and child deaths.
Leadership for Freedom and the Rule of Law
The United States was founded on the principles of law, human dignity, and freedom not just for some, but for all people. Mr. Chairman, as a refugee from tyranny, I cherish these principles. I can assure you that as Secretary of State I will speak out against the violation of human rights wherever they may occur. I will also support our promotion of democracy around the world. Democracy is not only the best guarantee of human rights; it is the most fundamental source of peace and prosperity as well. That is why we must continue to support our democracy programs -- which are strengthening elections, political parties, governmental institutions, civil society, and the rule of law in many developing nations.
The United States will also increase our efforts overseas to defeat the forces of international crime and narcotics trafficking. With our help, many drug-producing nations are strengthening their democratic institutions against the corrupting influence of criminals. We have made important progress: More kingpins than ever before are behind bars; Peru, the world's largest producer of coca, has decreased its cultivation to the lowest level in a decade; and we have negotiated many bilateral treaties of extradition and mutual legal assistance.
We will also persevere in our efforts to defeat international terrorism. Our policy is forthright: We make no concessions to terrorists; we exert pressure on states that sponsor terrorism; and we do all we can to bring terrorists to justice. Under President Clinton's leadership, we are mobilizing support around the world in opposition to the forces of terror. Together with our G-7 partners and Russia, we have agreed to improve our counter-terrorist cooperation in many areas -- including protecting mass transit, strengthening law enforcement, tightening border controls, blocking terrorist fundraising, and pursuing an international treaty against terrorist bombings.
We will maintain our strong backing for the UN war crimes tribunal for Rwanda and the Balkans. After all the horror of this century, history will not forgive us if we do not strive to hold accountable perpetrators of ethnic cleansing, mass rape, and other atrocities. Our proposed contributions to the UN's peacekeeping activities include continued support for these tribunals.
Mr. Chairman, one final note. I would like to make it clear that I will carry on Secretary Christopher's landmark initiative to integrate environmental issues into the mainstream of our foreign policy. The threats of global warming, pollution, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity may not be as dramatic as those posed by nuclear missiles or a terrorist's bomb. But if we ignore them, we will surely pay the price in terms of poor health, lost jobs, and the deterioration in our quality of life. That is why we must continue to forge bonds of cooperation in protecting the health and productivity of our common heritage of air, water, and land.
This year will be a critical one for the protection of the international environment. Our major goal is to conclude by December an agreement on the next steps to take on global warming. There is a consensus within the scientific community that the problem is real and serious. Indeed, we must act soon to prevent the disastrous effects of climate change -- including rising sea levels, more severe weather, and increased spread of infectious disease. In the coming year, the United States will also launch an international drive to ban the production of some of the world's most toxic chemicals. Although already outlawed in our country, these chemicals are still manufactured overseas -- and when released into the air and water they can travel thousands of miles to harm us.
Members of the Committee, the success of our new foreign policy will depend largely on whether we can revive the spirit of bipartisanship that prevailed after World War Two. A bipartisan foreign policy is important because it allows us to act with more authority on the world stage, because it inspires greater cooperation from our allies and greater caution from our actual and potential adversaries, and because it reinforces our role as a model for democracies and democrats around the world.
Bipartisanship not only suits our currently divided government; it is appropriate to our times. The end of the Cold War has already changed the domestic politics of American foreign policy as much as it has changed world politics. Now the greatest split in our foreign policy debate is not between our two parties but between the proponents and opponents of American engagement. The leadership of both our parties understand the imperative of continued American leadership.
One of the first tests of our bipartisanship will be whether we can agree on the FY'98 international affairs budget. Let me reiterate: The enactment of this budget is essential if we are to maintain American leadership in the world. We must stem the erosion of our diplomatic resources that has begun to hamper our foreign policy in recent years. This budget gives us the opportunity to begin that process. Mr. Chairman and members, let's get started.
Thank you very much.
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