[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1995, Book I)]
[June 28, 1995]
[Pages 962-964]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Remarks on the Japan-United States Trade Agreement
June 28, 1995

    Thank you very much, Wolf [Wolf Blitzer, CNN], for that 
introduction. [Laughter]
    Ladies and gentlemen, for 2\1/2\ years, I have worked hard to open 
markets and expand trade around the world for one simple reason: It is 
good for America. When we open new markets, millions of new consumers 
buy American products. And when we sell more American prod-

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ucts, we create more American jobs. We created the largest market in the 
world with NAFTA. We passed GATT, the most comprehensive trade agreement 
    The plain truth is, our products are now the best in the world, high 
quality, low cost. And our job here, and my job as President, is to make 
sure they can be sold fairly and freely throughout the world. That's how 
we create prosperity here at home.
    One of the largest obstacles to free and fair trade has been the 
artificial barriers erected by Japan, especially around its auto and 
auto parts markets. For over 20 years, Presidents have tried to fix this 
problem without success. This unfair situation had to end.
    After 20 months of negotiations, I ordered my Trade Representative, 
Ambassador Kantor, to impose sanctions on Japan unless they agreed to 
open these markets. Today Japan has agreed that it will begin to truly 
open its auto and auto parts markets to American companies.
    This agreement is specific. It is measurable. It will achieve real, 
concrete results. And I have insisted on it from the start. In 1993, the 
Japanese and I agreed at our meeting in Japan on specific negotiating 
goals in the framework agreement. We have now achieved those goals. Now, 
through 2 years of steady and determined negotiations, we have done what 
we set out to do 2\1/2\ years ago.
    Trade must be a two-way street. After 20 years, we finally have an 
agreement that will move cars and parts both ways between the United 
States and Japan. This breakthrough is a major step toward free trade 
throughout the world.
    Japan will take specific steps that we expect will increase the 
number of dealers selling non-Japanese cars by 200 next year and 1,000 
over the next 5 years. In the United States, 80 percent of our car 
dealers sell foreign cars right next to American cars. But in Japan, 
only 7 percent of car dealers sell American cars or any non-Japanese 
cars. That is unfair, and this agreement makes a strong start in fixing 
    Japan will begin to undo the rigid regulations of its market for 
repair parts. This agreement breaks the stranglehold Japanese 
manufacturers have had over repair shops and garages. It means more U.S. 
parts will be sold in Japan.
    Finally, Japanese carmakers will expand their production in the 
United States and buy more American parts both here and in Japan. These 
measurable plans should increase purchases of American car parts by 
almost $9 billion in 3 years, a 50 percent increase. Japan is going to 
make half a million more new cars in the United States by 1998, an 
increase of 25 percent.
    Sixty percent of our entire trade deficit with Japan is the result 
of a car and car parts deficit. This agreement helps to close the gap. 
This commitment means thousands of new jobs for American workers, jobs 
for Americans making parts sold to Japan, jobs for Americans making 
parts for Japanese cars manufactured here, jobs for Americans making 
American cars now sold in Japan, and jobs for Americans making Japanese 
models made in the United States, which will increase substantially in 
number over the next few years. It is therefore a victory for our 
hardworking families. But make no mistake, it is also a victory for 
Japanese consumers, because it will mean lower prices for good products 
for them.
    I want to commend the leaders of Japanese auto parts companies and 
auto companies and the leaders of the Japan Government for the courage 
and vision it took for them to reach this agreement. I personally want 
to thank Prime Minister Murayama and Minister Hashimoto for their 
leadership. And I especially want to thank Ambassador Mickey Kantor and 
his extraordinary team for the exhaustive efforts they have made to 
reach this successful conclusion.
    In just a few moments, as soon as I conclude here, Ambassador Kantor 
and Minister Hashimoto will have a statement in detail about this 
agreement and will answer questions about it. I'm sure you can 
understand that they are in a better position to answer detailed 
questions than I am.
    I had a long conversation with Ambassador Kantor about an hour ago, 
and I congratulated him.
    I want all of you to understand that there is still much to be done. 
This agreement will not solve every problem in our relationship. But for 
today we have proved that hard bargaining and good faith can overcome 
apparently insurmountable conflict. This is important. And what it means 
is that sanctions are not necessary because we have achieved our goals. 
I am very proud of this negotiating team. I want to say that again. We 
set out a strategy, we held firm to our principles, and we achieved our 
goals. And those goals will lead to more jobs for Amer-

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icans. Discipline at the negotiating table once again has proved that we 
can be successful.
    And I want to say finally, again, this is a great victory for the 
American people. It is also a victory for the Japanese people. We both 
won. And as a result, the global economy and American jobs are better 
    Thank you.
    Q. Is this a voluntary agreement, or are there any guarantees, Mr. 
    The President. Mr. Kantor will be speaking in just a moment, and 
he'll answer all the questions.

Note: The President spoke at 12:20 p.m. in the Briefing Room at the 
White House. In his remarks, he referred to Ryutaro Hashimoto, Japanese 
Minister of International Trade and Industry.