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October 2, 1998

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Six short years ago, America was a very different place. In some circles here and abroad, people spoke of an America in decline. Today, with a brand new budget surplus, with wages and jobs rising, with our nation's confidence soaring, we have an unprecedented opportunity to build for the future. Now is the time to bear down, to lead the world back to financial stability, and to prove that America's greatest days are still ahead.

President Bill Clinton
October 2, 1998

Today, President Clinton will announce new steps to help those countries impacted by the global economic slump and new figures showing that the American economy remains strong.

Presidential Leadership To Spur The Global Economy. Today's economic report contains evidence that America's economy is being affected by the global financial crisis --and that is why the President announced new steps to help address that crisis:

  • Strengthening The International Financial Community's Capacity To Limit Financial Contagion. This week, Secretary Rubin and Chairman Greenspan will explore with the IMF and their G-7 colleagues whether best to design a new mechanism, anchored in the IMF, to provide contingent finance to help countries ward off global financial contagion;
  • Helping People Who Have Been Hurt By The Financial Crisis. Today, President Clinton calls on the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank to explore additional steps to help those who have suffered because of the global economic crisis by: (1) developing a new emergency capacity to lend money quickly; (2) using loan guarantees and other innovative means to leverage private sector lending to emerging markets; and (3) expanding their lending, within their guidelines, to countries now affected by the crisis;
  • Encouraging American Business To Continue Exporting To, And Investing In, Emerging Markets. The President is asking the Export-Import Bank to establish new short-term credit facilities to make it easier for American businesses to continue exporting to critical Latin American markets. In addition, The Overseas Private Investment Corporation, (OPIC), has developed a new instrument to help emerging economies raise money from international capital markets;
  • Calling On Congress To Secure Full Funding For The IMF. In the few working days it has left this year, the most important thing Congress can do to protect American farmers, ranchers, and businesses is to secure full funding for the IMF. Without giving the IMF the resources it needs, many vital efforts to strengthen international financial institutions will simply fall short.

The American Economy Remains Solid. Today's report also shows that the three-part economic strategy President Clinton put in place in 1993, of: (1) cutting the deficit to help reduce interest rates and spur business investment; (2) investing in education, health care, science and technology so that America was prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century; and (3) opening markets abroad so that American workers would have a fair chance to compete and win across the globe, is working:

  • The First Budget Surplus Since 1969;
  • 16.7 Million New Jobs Created Since 1993;
  • Unemployment Was 4.6 Percent In September --Below 5 Percent For 15 Months In A Row;
  • The Fastest Real Wage Growth In Two Decades.

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