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It is a pleasure to address this Conference on World Economy and Peace. I have recently returned from Europe, where President Reagan's visit underscored both these themes. First, at the Bonn economic summit, the President discussed with other leaders ways of improving the performance of the world economy. On his state visits to Germany, Spain, and Portugal, the President commemorated 40 years of peace and reconciliation.
It is well worth examining why the four decades since the end of World War Ii have been so good to the Western world. Fundamentally, I believe we owe this achievement to a shared faith in economic and political freedom, private enterprise, democracy, and the rule of law. At the Bonn economic summit meeting, President Reagan and his counterparts from the other major industrial democracies reaffirmed their commitment to these values. Each summit leader agreed to six common principles for national policies designed to foster economic growth and rising employment. They said:
* We will consolidate and enhance the progress made in bringing down inflation.
* We will follow prudent, and where necessary strengthened monetary and budgetary policies with a view to stable prices, lower interest rates and more productive investment. Each of our countries will exercise firm control over public spending in order to reduce budget deficits, when excessive and, where necessary, the share of public spending in Gross National Product.
* We will work to remove obstacles to growth and encourage initiative and enterprise as to release the creative energies of our peoples, while maintaining appropriate social policies for those in need.
* We will promote greater adaptability and responsiveness in all markets, particularly the labour market.
We will encourage training to improve occupational skills, particularly for the young.
* We will exploit to the full the opportunities for prosperity and the creation of permanent jobs, provided by economic change and technological progress.
While each nation bears responsibility for putting its own house in order, summit leaders recognized that some problems, particularly trade, require concerted action. In this regard, they noted that: "Protectionism does not solve problems; it creates them." They called for "new initiatives for strengthening the open multilateral trading system." And they strongly endorsed the idea that "a new GATT [General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade] round should begin as soon as possible." They added that "most of us think that this should be in 1986."
As the President's personal representative for the economic summit, I was privileged to observe the strong push he personally gave to obtain firm commitments from our partners to begin a new round of trade negotiations. It was disappointing that France alone among summit nations objected to a firm commitment to a 1986 announcement of negotiations. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that all participants (including France) agreed that the task is urgent and we must begin preparations this summer.
It is important that the general public, in this country and abroad, …