[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1995, Book I)]
[June 27, 1995]
[Pages 959-960]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Remarks at the Closing Session of the Pacific Rim Economic Conference in 
June 27, 1995

    First of all, let me thank this panel and--all of them. I do have to 
say one thing in deference to Quincy Jones' humor and modesty. You 
should all know, if you don't, that in the aggregate, I think second 
only to airplanes, entertainment is our second biggest export. So when 
all these folks are talking about piracy and opening markets to 
nontraditional things you don't normally think about being exported, 
that's a huge deal in the American entertainment industry. It generates 
untold thousands of jobs, and they're not just the kind of jobs you 
think about--every time you look at a movie and you see all the people 
at the end that work on a movie and you imagine what their incomes are 
like, what their lives are like, just remember, those people, their 
ability to keep their jobs over a constant long period of time depends 
upon our ability to be effective in exporting that product as well.
    One of the things that we tried to do--and Tom was talking about 
this--after we took office, was to identify those things where--like 
apples from Washington--where we knew good and well there would be a 
consumer market in other countries if only we could pierce them. So 
there wasn't some sort of theoretical thing. We knew that.
    And finally let me say again, this relates to higher wage jobs, 
because export-related jobs on balance pay about 15 percent higher than 
jobs where the total nature of the economic activity is within the 
border of the United States.
    Let me give you this thought in closing. Agricultural exports have 
gone up $9 billion, to over $50 billion a year, since this 
administration took office. And we've got a surplus of about $20 
billion, as I said. Exports to Asia alone reached a record of $18.6 
billion--that's 45,000 jobs. That's just agriculture. The Washington 
Apple Commission has tripled exports. And Washington apple exports to 
Asia increased 37 percent last year alone. That's just one example.
    Now, I'll close with a general point I want to make. I came out here 
because I really believe that this is what public life should be about--
not just this panel, but all three of them--not the kind of rhetorical 
and highly partisan divisions that normally come to you across the 
airwaves from a distant National Government.
    Also I believe--if you think about it, when World War II was over, 
we had a remarkable thing happen with President Truman and the 
Republican leaders of the Congress where we set up NATO, we set up the 
Marshall Plan, we set up--we really filled out and finished the work of 
the United Nations. And we had this bipartisan foreign policy, because 
everybody thought we could be destroyed by nuclear war or by the success 
of communism over democratic capitalism.
    So we fought like crazy about all kinds of domestic issues, but we 
basically organized ourselves around the issues that were critical to 
our survival. I think you could argue that in the world toward which 
we're moving, our survival, our security as a people relate very closely 
to the issues discussed by these three panels today. And we need to find 
a way to go beyond partisanship to reach some national consensus on 
issues of trade and innovation, on issues of education and training, on 
issues of organizing work and family and education in a way that enables 
people to make the most of their own lives and on the question of 
pushing more and more decisions down to the community level but using 
the National Government as a partner to spark economic activity and get 
us through tough economic transitions.
    That is what I am trying to do. As you can see, the results are 
mixed from time to time. But it's clear that that's what the country 
needs to do. You would not run a family, a business, a charitable 
organization, a local project in the way our national politics is too 
often run, at a highly theoretical, highly rhetorical, highly 
ideological level, when what we're really trying to do is to find new 
patterns in which people can make more of their own lives.
    So I ask all of you to think about that. How would you define our 
security, moving into the 21st century? And if you believe it relates to 
innovation, to education, to training, to exports, to all these things, 
then I ask you: Do what you can to help us to build a bipartisan consen-

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sus that will take this country into the next century in the way that 
all these fine people that were on all these panels plainly deserve.
    Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 3:37 p.m. in Smith Memorial Center at 
Portland State University. In his remarks, he referred to musician 
Quincy Jones.