THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release June 16, 1997
PRESS BRIEFING BY
NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR SANDY BERGER,
ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS DAN TARULLO AND SECRETARY OF TREASURY BOB RUBIN
The Briefing Room
3:45 P.M. EDT
MS. LUZZATTO: Hi. We're going to have a briefing on the Denver Summit. The Assistant to the President for International Economics, Dan Tarullo will start off, followed by National Security Advisor Sandy Berger and then Secretary Rubin.
MR. TARULLO: Good afternoon. On Thursday we travel to Denver for the Summit of the 8 starting Friday evening, preceded by bilaterals Friday afternoon. As we come into this summit, the President is building on, really, two of his signal accomplishments over the last four years. When one contrasts where the United States stood in 1993 when he attended his first summit with where we stand today, I think you see the position of relative strength and leadership on which we stand.
In 1993, the U.S. budget deficit was really the central economic concern of the summit. Today, the stellar performance of the U.S. economy will be the principal focus of economic attention. In 1993, the process of democratization and reform in Russia were incipient. Today, the economy has begun to stabilize, Russia has recommitted itself to economic reform and in the security area, we have now redefined our relationships. And, thus, with those two accomplishments in hand, we're prepared to move on to the next three tasks of strengthening our economies for the global economy of the 21st century, consolidating the new global agenda responses to international crime, international terrorism, infectious diseases and other such global problems, and integrating more nations into the community of free market democracies.
To elaborate on both of these themes and some other related ideas, we'll first turn to Sandy Berger, the National Security Advisor, who will talk about the bilateral agenda and the foreign policy agenda, and then to Secretary Rubin who will address economics, then I can supplement with anything on the topics that don't fall easily into either category.
MR. BERGER: Thank you, Dan.
The summit provides an opportunity for the President to engage with his colleagues on a range of foreign policy issues and objectives that he has been pursuing through a very intensive period that really began with the summit in Helsinki in March -- in general, organized around the proposition that we need to organize a community of democracies to seize the opportunities and meet the challenges of a new era of globalization and integration.
Dan described and Bob will describe some of the global issues and economic issues on the agenda. Let me focus more on the foreign policy and security issues. Some of that discussion will take place actually in the meetings of the 8. There will be a session on Friday night on Bosnia, and then on Sunday on a broad range of foreign policy subjects, which I'll return to. Some will take place in bilaterals. There are three currently scheduled: one with President Yeltsin; one with President Chirac; one with Prime Minister Prodi of Italy. Conceivably there will be others. And obviously, in these kind of meetings there are conversations that take place on the margins of the meeting, in between lunch and the afternoon session.
Let me talk first about the bilaterals. On Friday the President will meet with President Yeltsin, President Chirac and Prime Minister Prodi. The meeting with President Yeltsin is another step in the effort the President has strongly supported over the entire four years of, first of all, integrating Russia more closely into the world's economic and political institutions as reflected by the more substantial, enhanced role that President Yeltsin will play at the Summit of the 8, and also to pursue the very robust bilateral agenda that we have between us ranging from the arms control matters that he and President Yeltsin discussed in Helsinki, to the continuing issue of economic reform, the steps that Russia is taking as well as the steps that we can take to be of assistance.
The meeting with President Chirac on Friday will be the first opportunity that he's had to meet with the President since the French elections, although the President did speak to President Chirac on the phone after the election. There are a number of issues that they will be discussing together: Bosnia, obviously; Persian Gulf; I'm sure there will be a discussion of NATO; both the question of who and other issues related to Madrid. On the question of who, President Clinton will emphasize to President Chirac, we are convinced that starting NATO expansion with the strongest candidates and those for which there is the deepest consensus, while keeping the door very much open for others in a subsequent wave of NATO expansion is the best way to strengthen NATO's effectiveness and have the widest possible support for NATO enlargement.
There may be some discussion of the issue of France's integration into NATO, a subject that we've been talking about for some time. I don't anticipate that will be a lengthy discussion or that this will be a negotiation, but we'll try to get some sense of whether or not the French want to reengage with us in the discussions that we have had about integration is something we would welcome and, of course, we would welcome France's integration into the military structure of NATO, as it's not presently.
I'd also expect them to talk about the Middle East peace process and policy towards Iran and Iraq, and obviously I would think some readout from the European Summit, which is taking place this week.
The meeting with Prime Minister Prodi of Italy is an opportunity to further conversations that they began at the margins of the meeting in Paris and again also will be, I think, quite broad-ranging in its terms. I'm sure the President will be particularly interested in talking to him about the situation in Albania where Italy has the lead in a multinational force and elections scheduled for the end of this month in Albania. And although we are not present in that force, we obviously have a very strong interest in the stability of Albania and restoring a democratic process. I'm sure that will be a matter of discussion.
Now, there will be two particular opportunities during the meetings when there will be specific foreign policy discussions, although, of course, international economic policy is part of our foreign policy. Traditional foreign policy matters will come up twice; once on Friday when there will be a discussion of Bosnia; and then once on Sunday when there will be a more broad ranging foreign policy discussion.
On Bosnia I think the President seeks there to really use Denver to rededicate this group to the process of building a durable peace in Bosnia that comes at a time of transition -- Carl Bildt is leaving. I just met with Minister Westendorp, who is taking his place. So there is a changing of the guard in terms of the higher-ups office and it's an appropriate time for us to rededicate ourselves with renewed intensity and focus to the civil implementation elements of the Dayton Agreement.
There has been a good deal accomplished over the last year and a half, not only stopping the fighting and separating the factions, but holding national elections, creating joint institutions of the presidency, a good deal of work on building infrastructure, returning refugees particularly to majority areas, now a national budget and the opening of the Croat-Bosnian border. But there continues to be a substantial amount of work that needs to be done to make this peace more enduring and self-sustaining.
We've identified five priority areas that we think require attention, and I suspect the President will share our own analysis with his colleagues. One is training and equipping local police forces to that they are better able to maintain order in a way that is consistent with human rights. Two is refugee returns to the minority areas, which has been an area of conflict. Three is vigorous support for the war crimes tribunal. Four is strengthening the joint institutions that are being created. And fifth is strengthening the job of economic reconstruction which has begun.
The Sunday session will talk about a wide range of foreign policy subjects. I'm sure the Middle East peace process will come up; the Persian Gulf; Iraq, Iran; Southeast Asia, Cyprus, Congo new and old. But let me just quickly, in concluding, focus on two issues that will be discussed specifically.
One is a focus on democracy-building and human rights as an initiative that the 8 will launch in Denver and will come to fruition in Birmingham next year at the summit that Prime Minister Blair will host.
Obviously, one of the most powerful developments of our time has been the enormous wave of democracy sweeping over the globe; for the first time in the history of the world more than half the people now live under governments that they have freely elected. But as we all know, many of those democracies are very fragile, and I think it's the President's view that leading industrial nations have a responsibility to try to strengthen those.
The countries have done a great deal on their own, individually. USAID spends about $400 million a year on democracy programs; about $40 million is spent by our National Endowment for Democracy. But we hope in Denver to launch a review over the next year of the policy and programs that individual countries have in place or could put in place to strengthen democracy around the world -- both strengthen democracies that are new emerging democracies as well as those seeking to build democracy. And that would include looking at good governance and anti-corruption policies, rule of law; looking at the institutions of civil society, whether that's the media or non-governmental organizations; looking at how business and labor can reinforce the democratic process. And, fourth, in particular, looking at women's political participation, which is an enormous issue for emerging democracies around the world.
As I say, the hope here will be to launch a review process which would then make recommendations that would be taken up by the leaders in Birmingham.
Finally, there will be a discussion on Hong Kong, coming about a week after the summit. I think there is a common view among the 8 that a smooth transition of Hong Kong, maintaining Hong Kong's autonomy and way of life is important. China's adherence to the terms of the 1984 Basic Agreement is important and I think that they will discuss their shared expectation that China will fulfill those obligations and that the international community will watch very carefully to see if that is taking place. This, obviously, will come either on the heels of or in the aftermath of a vote in the House on MFN, which is extraordinarily important to Hong Kong's stability and continued autonomy, which is why all of the leaders from Hong Kong, from every end of the spectrum have supported extension of normal trading benefits.
So there will be a fair amount of foreign policy discussed during the summit. I will now turn to Bob to talk about the economic policy.
SECRETARY RUBIN: Thank you, Sandy. I took particular note of Sandy saying that the media were part of civil society.
In any event, as Sandy said, there will be a goodly amount of discussion at an economic summit about economic issues. And the finance ministers will have their own meetings and then they will be talking with the leaders.
I was with a very senior official of one of the international financial institutions this morning and he said that he well remembers summits from the '80s and the early '90s. He said that the other nations would line up and universally criticize the United States for its large deficits, for not having its house in order, for loss of competitors to the private sector, and basically referred to us as yesterday's economy.
Today, it's all been totally altered, totally transformed. We clearly are going into this summit in a very strong position as the world's leading industrial economy and having an economy that's almost universally acknowledged as having the best conditions that we've had in this country for many decades, and certainly the best conditions amongst the industrial countries.
We will have three basic objectives, economic objectives, in the summit: one, promoting growth in industrialized economies. Always we'll review conditions of needs of our respective countries, and then we'll be focusing on Prime Minister Hashimoto's stated objective in Japan to achieve domestic-demand-led growth and at the same time avoid a sustained increase in external surpluses that could fuel protectionism elsewhere and do damage to the world economy.
Secondly, we will be looking at and discussing European economic conditions and the importance of structure reform. And I'm certain we'll have discussion of the United States economic conditions and what issues might exist with respect to sustaining our now longstanding recovery. Permeating all of this, I suspect, will be a discussion of an issue that I think will be front and foremost in economic discussions for years to come, and that is the question of how to bring the benefits of the global economy and the benefits of technology to the least skilled in all of our economies.
Secondly, we'll be focusing on enhancing financial stability. While there are enormous opportunities and net benefits in the globalization, the financial markets, as the Mexican situation illustrated, there are also risks. We have been, under President Clinton's leadership, pursuing a program to deal with those risks, beginning with the Halifax Summit and a good deal has been accomplished of, I think, very real significance. We will carry forward this summit in that respect.
The two principal components will be, number one, to focus on cooperation amongst regulators around the world with respect to the global financial institutions -- the financial institutions that operate across boarders; and, secondly, the very important issue of strengthening financial systems in emerging economies. Because what you will find is that when there are crisis in emerging economies, they almost always either begin in the banking sector or, if they begin elsewhere, exacerbated by problems in the banking sector.
And, finally, we're going to focus on fostering economic reform and development and growth in developing countries and in transitional countries. And while there will be a broad range of issues to be discussed; let me just briefly mention two. Number one, combating corruption, because corruption clearly is a major impediment to growth. In that respect, we'll be focusing on the OECD recommendations with respect to making bribery non-tax-deductible, and criminalizing bribery of foreign officials. And in our view, both of these recommendations to the OECD should be put into effect within the next year, and we will attempt to continue to energize that objective.
And secondly, we will be focusing on the question of Africa, and the administration's program in Africa which the President will announce tomorrow and the activities in the international financial institutions to focus on Africa in order to bring Africa into the economic mainstream.
You put it all together and I think that once again, the G-7 has served very much as an action-forcing set of events, and also as a leadership forum to set an agenda for the future. I think it's a very important part of what makes our global economy work, and we very much look forward to this weekend in Denver.
Q Is Russia part of every session?
MR. TARULLO: Russia will be a part of every discussion but one. There will be a meeting on Saturday afternoon among the 7 leaders to discuss a course set of financial and related macroeconomic issues.
Q Well, in that context, is it legitimate now to call it G-8?
MR. TARULLO: Well, Helen, I wouldn't get bogged down in semantics. It's clearly a Summit of the 8, and Russia is a full part.
Q That's semantics. Is it G-8?
MR. TARULLO: Is it G-8?
Q What you're giving me is semantics -- Summit of the 8. Is it G-8?
MR. TARULLO: There are eight countries that participate in the summit. There is one meeting with seven countries. That's really the answer.
Q What should we call it?
MR. TARULLO: For purposes, you call it the Summit of the 8.
Q What's Yeltsin doing -- what do you have for Yeltsin during this time out for him? (Laughter.)
MR. TARULLO: I don't know. It's going to be only -- it's a relatively brief meeting.
Q Secretary Rubin, could you tell us why now is the time for an initiative on Africa both here and at the summit?
SECRETARY RUBIN: Yes. I think it's a very good time for an initiative for Africa for a number of reasons, but maybe the prime reason is there are -- although many countries in Africa have serious problems, and you see that in the daily papers, pretty much unreported is that there are also a goodly number of countries that have really had good, solid rates of growth over the last two or three years and, in some cases, like Uganda, have had good rates of growth over some number of years and that is a function of regimes in these countries having put in place reform programs.
So there is now -- I think really for the first time, there is now a critical mass of countries now putting in place reform regimes and are starting to get the benefits of that. So I think it's a very appropriate time to move on this.
Q What is the goal, then, of this --
SECRETARY RUBIN: The goal is to help countries that help themselves. And over time -- over time -- to bring the countries of Africa into the economic mainstream using the same kind of a strategy, if you will, that has been so successful in Asia over several decades and that is now pretty much universally being employed across the developing world.
MR. BERGER: If you think about Mozambique which, you know, for 15 years was synonymous with either civil war or FRELIMO politics or very left communist-Marxist politics, now embarking upon and very much interested in trade, investment, economic reform. There are a number of countries -- Ethiopia, which was once synonymous with famine, is now trying to attract investment and build trade and what the initiative tomorrow will be and then what we will then build on in Denver is an effort to reinforce that rather significant move toward growth and market-oriented strategies in Africa.
Q Secretary Rubin, how much debt relief do you envision for Africa?
SECRETARY RUBIN: I can't give you the answer right now because I don't know. But I do know that we have been very strong promoters of the HIPC Initiative in the international financial institutions, and there are a number of other countries now that I think are very close to getting that kind of -- Uganda, as you know, is the first country to get that relief. There are a number of other countries that are close to getting it. At least one that I can think of offhand is African. And we are going to continue to promote very strongly debt relief from the international financial institutions, and not just debt relief at the end of a period during which they continue their reforms, although that's -- it is conditional on continuing reforms for some period of time, but also interim relief in the period leading up to the end of that period.
Q Is the figure $1 billion or in the millions?
SECRETARY RUBIN: You mean in terms of the international financial institutions? That relief -- well, it's certainly not in the millions. I don't know the number and we can get back to you, but it is a very significant number relative to the countries that are receiving it.
Q Mr. Berger, if this is a Summit of the 8, why is Mr. Yeltsin being excluded from the Saturday meeting?
MR. BERGER: It's from one portion of the meeting. There are some -- and I'll let Dan and Bob answer this -- there remains I think in the view of the 7, some value particularly at the level of the finance ministers and then reporting to the leaders on core international monetary policy, international financial policy for the 7 creditor countries, in a sense, to meet together. There are issues that they have a commonality on that warrants preserving that certainly at the ministerial level and at least in some small fashion at the leaders' level.
Q I wonder if this Africa initiative is the continuation of a form of the initiative that Secretary Brown began in February last year when he went to Africa and met with certain members of the African states. This kind of initiative has the support of all of the minority entrepreneurs in this country. Mainly the consortium for leadership and information that work for trade oversee and nationwide support that initiative that Secretary Brown did last year.
MR. TARULLO: I think there is a fundamental continuity between the ideas which Secretary Brown was promoting and discussing in Africa and those which we have been working on the Congress with for the legislation that we'll talk about tomorrow. In fact, I think it's notable that the bipartisan consensus has emerged in the Congress bridges the gap between the congressional Black Caucus on the one hand to some quite conservative Republicans on the other. The consensus to which Bob alluded is on the right set of economic steps is really quite strong here, but more to the point, quite strong in Africa as well.
Q Secretary Rubin, do you expect to see -- integrating Russia into Western financial institutions? Do you expect to be in a position at Denver to announce that Russia will get full membership in the Paris Club, or do you think the negotiations on that are going to take a bit longer?
SECRETARY RUBIN: We're continuing to work on that, and as you know, we think that should take place in 1997 on normal terms and we're continuing to work on it. I don't anticipate that would be announced at Denver, but it has certainly been our objective to accomplish that on normal terms in 1997.
Q When will there be discussion of these new global issues you mentioned, such as drugs and organized crime, and will that be the forum when climate change is discussed, and what do you anticipate on that topic?
MR. TARULLO: There will -- a significant part of Saturday's sessions will be devoted to a discussion of the global agenda. And in a sense, what is happening at this summit is that the President is consolidating the global agenda as an ongoing agenda item for these annual summits. A good deal of work now takes place during the course of the year. We have senior experts groups on crime, on terrorism, on nuclear safety and nuclear nonproliferation. We will be adding a group on infectious diseases this year to begin dealing with the problem of emergent infectious diseases and their spread around the world.
The President has really pushed this on to the agenda of the summit over the last couple of years and now I think you'll see that it's really become embedded in the work of the summit. The environment is obviously a critical global issue extending well into the next century. There will be a session to discuss the environment, which will include a discussion of climate change.
I would anticipate, actually, a discussion of that and a number of other pending environmental issues because of the fact that the United Nations General Assembly and Special Session will be meeting the succeeding week to talk specifically about the environment.
Q Do you expect an expression of support from Denver on the Euro, the single European currency? Will Denver support the single European currency?
SECRETARY RUBIN: I have no doubt that it will get discussed there, but Denver will not take a position one way or the other on the issue. That is an issue the Europeans are going to have to work through themselves. Our view has always been is what's good for Europe is in the final analysis good for us. A strong Europe's good markets for us. But neither the Denver Summit or the United States will take a position with respect to the Euro other than the respect I just said.
Q Secretary Rubin, I wonder why won't the U.S. or the G-7 take a position on that. You certainly haven't been shy about taking a position on the need for Japan to deregulate or to have -- et cetera. Why not take a position on the single currency?
SECRETARY RUBIN: Because I think that the question of a single currency is a strategic issue that Europe itself needs to work out. Our position with respect to that, as I said a moment ago, is that anything that's good for Europe is ultimately good for us. But the particular strategy is something we think that they need to deal with themselves, as we need to deal with our strategic issues ourselves.
Q Mr. Secretary, two questions on Japan. First of all, is there going to be bilateral between the President and Prime Minister Hashimoto? And, second, is the issue of the Japanese trade surplus -- and I know what the U.S. position is on it -- is this of sufficient importance that it's actually going to be included in any economic statement? And do you see this as sort of like the major risk to the global macroeconomic outlook that --
MR. BERGER: In terms of the schedule, at this point the three bilaterals that I mentioned are the only three that are scheduled. It's conceivable that there may be others, and we'll obviously keep you posted if the schedule changes. But it is in the nature of these meetings -- this is really one of the few places, times where these leaders sit around a table and it's just the 8 and each of them have one sherpa sitting behind them. And so there's a lot of time for conversation that takes place sort of to and from and on the margins. And I am sure that the President and Prime Minister Hashimoto will talk during the summit. Whether there will be actually a formal bilateral, I don't know at this point.
Q What can you tell us on the light side, the social side, the --
Q Can I get an answer to my question?
SECRETARY RUBIN: The Japanese surplus? Look, what we've said is we think a sustained surplus is damaging to other countries' economies and also has, I think, the very real risk of fueling protectionism elsewhere. And that is what Prime Minister Hashimoto stated as an objective of avoiding. So we continue to have that view, as does he.
Will that get discussed? Yes, at the finance minister meetings, those things always get discussed.
Q -- be included in a statement, some reference to that will be included in a statement --
SECRETARY RUBIN: I don't know the answer to that at this point.
Q The Japanese keep -- there's a broad effort in Japan among all Japanese government officials to downplay the issue of their economy as an issue in Denver, and there seems to be a broad effort on the part of U.S. government officials to talk it up as an issue in Denver. Did they not get the memo or -- (laughter) -- some sort of divergence in what you guys expect here?
SECRETARY RUBIN: I wouldn't say that we're talking up anything. At the G-7, the finance ministers meetings at least, we go through the issues with respect to the economies of each of the countries. And Japan is the second largest economy in the world and the issues are the ones I just mentioned. But we'll discuss the European issues I mentioned and undoubtedly, with respect to the United States, they'll talk about the sustained ability of our recovery, do we see any signs of inflation, matters of that sort.
Q Well, you're not concerned that they're backsliding or something? This isn't an organized effort to beat up on Japan, as opposed to just discussing the macroeconomic issues?
SECRETARY RUBIN: No, because we always have at these finance minister meetings mutual discussion of our economies and relative perspectives on those economies.
MR. TARULLO: Helen, we don't have the right person to give you all the details of the social side of it. I can give you --
Q Is everyone going to be on a horse? (Laughter.)
MR. TARULLO: I hadn't heard about -- the sherpas are definitely not on horses, that I can tell you. (Laughter.) On Friday evening there will be a reception before the summit begins. On Saturday evening the leaders will have dinner with their spouses. And then there will be the customary annual summit entertainment which, in this case, will be uniquely American entertainment, the details of which we need to get somebody else to give you.
Q Mr. Secretary, there's been a lot of talk about the Japanese trade surplus and the need for domestic demand-led growth in Japan. What about Europe? Aren't there some concerns about slack growth in Europe and the need --
SECRETARY RUBIN: Oh, yes. Europe has gone through a very difficult period. The continent has unemployment in the 10 percent or 11 percent range. And I have no doubt that we will have discussions, as we always do, about the structural issues that impede economic activity in Europe, particularly impede job growth, so the answer to your question is yes.
Q Sandy, what about this map that Netanyahu has supposedly brought forth at least it's been published in -- do you see it on the one hand as progress that he is talking about a territorial concession, or do you see it as Palestinians already do by reading the newspaper as so totally fragmented as to be unacceptable?
MR. BERGER: It will not be discussed at the summit.
Q I was going to expound it into the Middle East discussion that Chirac and the President were having, but I was --
MR. BERGER: Excuse me, I haven't answered John's question. I was being flip. The parties frequently have their own proposals that sometimes are public and sometimes are private. We never comment on them. I think our view is it's important here that the parties be talking to each other and that they be negotiating with each other. And all of our efforts over the past several weeks, which are daily and continuing, both on our own, in support of President Mubarak and other initiatives, are for the purpose of getting the parties back into negotiation by, first, creating the security conditions that will enable that to take place, and then by both sides being prepared to take the steps necessary to create the confidence that will allow negotiations to resume. So what is important here is what the parties say to each other and our determined focus is to try to get the parties back into a meaningful negotiation.
Q With regard to any prospective political communique, can we look for the leaders to take this opportunity to send a strong signal to the Chinese with regard to the turnover of Hong Kong?
MR. BERGER: First of all, the format is somewhat different. There will be one communique, there will not be two communiques -- on Sunday. There will be an economic --
MR. TARULLO: One communique and a G-7 statement on Sunday.
MR. BERGER: There will be an economic statement that comes out of the G-7 meeting. But there will be one communique from the 8 which will, I'm sure, include language on Hong Kong.
Q So it includes the political -- what used to be the political communique?
MR. BERGER: Correct.
Q Well, aside from Hong Kong, is Denver going to take a strong position on human rights in China? You mentioned that that's supposed to be one of the big objectives and achievements of Denver going into Birmingham next year. But are you going to be walking on eggs with regard to China's human rights performance after the Europeans torpedoed you in Geneva on the U.N. Human Rights Commission there? How much can you achieve on human rights in Denver realistically when the major European powers have a totally different agenda?
MR. BERGER: It would not surprise me if there was not a discussion of China in general, and its evolution and our collective assessments and individual assessments of what is going on in China, the extent to which China is evolving towards the international community, WTO and other areas -- arms controls regimes -- versus the pulls on China in a more nationalist direction. And I suspect that that discussion -- and again, I'm just predicting or anticipating --would include some discussion of China's human rights practices.
I think that all of the 8 share the same objective which is embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These are not American ideals we're talking about; these are ideals as we've seen around the world from the Philippines to Chile that are embraced by people worldwide. There is different approaches among the eight to how best to pursue that objective.
In our view, it was important for us to sponsor the resolution in Geneva expressing dissatisfaction with China's human rights record because, A, we think in the long run, it makes a difference to speak up and be clear about these things in terms of giving support to those who are fighting for more political reform in China; and B, because it gives integrity to the values that we stand for. Some of the Europeans have -- the Europeans were divided on this. Some of the Europeans felt that that is not a vehicle that has a particular value. But I think the goal is the same. And we'll discuss with them whether we can work together on the means.
Q Sandy, I don't know if each of you wants to tackles this, but just in terms of domestic value, since the United States is the host, what does this mean to the average -- the daily impact of your average U.S. citizen since they're going to be seeing all this around them on the news? A lot of this is going to go over peoples' heads. What does this really mean in brass tacks terms?
MR. BERGER: It's a very good question. Let me take a crack at it. And that's the ultimate question; it's the question by which in many ways, we need to measure what we do.
I think that, first of all, what Dan said earlier, the evolution of this group from a group that was strictly focused on economic issues to a group that now focuses not only on economic issues, not only on political issues, but on these transnational issues, and has become a vehicle for real cooperation, is important to every American. That's drugs. It's fighting terrorism. It's fighting international crime, which can be fraud that takes tens of billions of dollars out of our economy -- infectious diseases, AIDS. And all of these issues are issues of direct and immediate benefit to the United States, number one.
Number two, we live in a global economy. That means the health of our economy is directly connected to the health of the economies of others, and to the extent that we can encourage others to adopt economic policies on their own that foster growth, that contributes to America's economic progress.
And third, I think the fact here that you're seeing Russia brought into the Summit of the Eight in a more fulsome way is also important to the American people. The American people have an enormous stake in the success of Russian democracy and Russian reform. For 50 years, we defined our relationship in the world in distinction to the Soviet Union. We spent hundreds of billions of dollars fighting the Cold War. We now have an opportunity to integrate Russia, a democratic Russia, into the global economy and into the institutions of the international community, and that has enormous pay off for the American people if it succeeds and enormous downside if it fails.
MS. LUZZATTO: Let's make that the ultimate question. Thank you very much.
THE PRESS: Thank you.
National Service Summit Remarks
Presentation of Final Communique
Press Conference of the President
Press Briefing by Mike McCurry, Dan Tarullo, and Sandy Berger
Remarks at the Opening of the First Working Session
Remarks by the President and Prime Minister Blair
Press Briefing by Robert Rubin
Press Briefing by Madeleine Albright
Press Briefing by Sandy Berger
Briefing to the pool by Dan Tarullo
Remarks by the President and Prime Minister Prodi of Italy
Remarks by President Clinton and President Yeltsin
Remarks at the Africa Trade Event
Africa Trade Event Press Briefing
Briefing with Tarullo, Berger, and Rubin
Dan Tarullo's Speech at the National Press Club
Record of Progress | The Briefing Room
Gateway to Government | Contacting the White House | White House for Kids
White House History | White House Tours | Help
T H E W H I T E H O U S E