Forlaget Columbus

Bill Clinton: Remarks at the American University Centennial Celebration.

Fem tidligere amerikanske præsidenter – fra venstre mod højre: George H.W.Bush (1989-93), Barak Obama (2009-17), George W. Bush (2001-2009), Bill Clinton (1992-2001) og Jimmy Carter (1977-81).

Bill Clinton (1946 - ) var USAs præsident 1993 – 2001. Nedenstående fra en tale på American University i Washington. Februar 1993.   

For all the adventure and opportunity in this global economy, an American cannot approach it without mixed feelings. We still sometimes wish wistfully that everything we really want, particularly those things that produce good wages, could be made in America. We recall simpler times when one product line would be made to endure and last for years. We're angry when we see jobs and factories moving overseas or across the borders or depressing wages here at home when we think there is nothing we can do about it. We worry about our own prosperity being so dependent on events and forces beyond our shores. Could it be that the world's most powerful nation has also given up a significant measure of its sovereignty in the quest to lift the fortunes of people throughout the world?

It is ironic and even painful that the global village we have worked so hard to create has done so much to be the source of higher unemployment and lower wages for some of our people. But that is no wonder. For years our leaders have failed to take the steps that would harness the global economy to the benefit of all of our people, steps such as investing in our people and their skills, enforcing our trade laws, helping communities hurt by change; in short, putting the American people first without withdrawing from the world and people beyond our borders.

The truth of our age is this and must be this: Open and competitive commerce will enrich us as a nation. It spurs us to innovate. It forces us to compete. It connects us with new customers. It promotes global growth without which no rich country can hope to grow wealthier. It enables our producers who are themselves consumers of services and raw materials to prosper. And so I say to you in the face of all the pressures to do the reverse, we must compete, not retreat. . . .

I believe there are five steps we can and must take to set a new direction at home and to help create a new direction for the world. First, we simply have to get our own economic house in order. I have outlined a new national economic strategy that will give America the new direction we require to meet our challenges. It seeks to do what no generation of Americans has ever been called upon to do before: to increase investment in our productive future and to reduce our deficit at the same time.

Second, it is time for us to make trade a priority element of American security. For too long, debates over trade have been dominated by voices from the extremes. One says Government should build walls to protect firms from competition. Another says Government should do nothing in the face of foreign competition, no matter what the dimension and shape of that competition is, no matter what the consequences are in terms of job losses, trade dislocations, or crushed incomes. Neither view takes on the hard work of creating a more open trading system that enables us and our trading partners to prosper. Neither steps up to the task of empowering our workers to compete or of ensuring that there is some compact of shared responsibility regarding trade's impact on our people or of guaranteeing a continuous flow of investment into emerging areas of new technology which will create the high-wage jobs of the 21st century. . . .

Our trade policy will be part of an integrated economic program, not just something we use to compensate for the lack of a domestic agenda. We must enforce our trade laws and our agreements with all the tools and energy at our disposal. But there is much about our competitive posture that simply cannot be straightened out by trade retaliation. Better educated and trained workers, a lower deficit, stable, low interest rates, a reformed health care system, world-class technologies, revived cities: These must be the steel of our competitive edge. And there must be a continuing quest by business and labor and, yes, by Government for higher and higher and higher levels of productivity. . . .

We also know that regional and bilateral agreements provide opportunities to explore new kinds of trade concerns, such as how trade relates to policies affecting the environment and labor standards and the antitrust laws. And these agreements, once concluded, can act as a magnet including other countries to drop barriers and to open their trading systems.

The North American Free Trade Agreement is a good example. It began as an agreement with Canada, which I strongly supported, which has now led to a pact with Mexico as well. That agreement holds the potential to create many, many jobs in America over the next decade if it is joined with others to ensure that the environment, that living standards, that working conditions, are honored, that we can literally know that we are going to raise the condition of people in America and in Mexico. We have a vested interest in a wealthier, stronger Mexico, but we need to do it on terms that are good for our people. . . .

Third, it is time for us to do our best to exercise leadership among the major financial powers to improve our coordination on behalf of global economic growth. At a time when capital is mobile and highly fungible, we simply cannot afford to work at cross-purposes with the other major industrial democracies. Our major partners must work harder and more closely with us to reduce interest rates, stimulate investment, reduce structural barriers to trade, and to restore robust global growth. And we must look anew at institutions we use to chart our way in the global economy and ask whether they are serving our interest in this new world or whether we need to modify them or create others.

Fourthly, we need to promote the steady expansion of growth in the developing world, not only because it's in our interest but because it will help them as well. These nations are a rapidly expanding market for our products. Some three million American jobs flow from exports to the developing world. Indeed, because of unilateral actions taken by Mexico over the last few years, the volume of our trade has increased dramatically, and our trade deficit has disappeared. There is a great deal that we can do to open the flow of goods and services. Our aid policies must do more to address population pressures; to support environmentally responsible, sustainable development; to promote more accountable governance; and to foster a fair distribution of the fruits of growth among an increasingly restive world population where over one billion people still exist on barely a dollar a day. These efforts will reap us dividends of trade, of friendship, and peace.

The final step we must take, my fellow Americans, is toward the success of democracy in Russia and in the world's other new democracies. The perils facing Russia and other former Soviet republics are especially acute and especially important to our future. For the reductions in our defense spending that are an important part of our economic program over the long run here at home are only tenable as long as Russia and the other nuclear republics pose a diminishing threat to our security and to the security of our allies and the democracies throughout the world. Most worrisome is Russia's precarious economic condition. If the economic reforms begun by President Yeltsin are abandoned, if hyperinflation cannot be stemmed, the word will stiffer.


posture - tilstand
retaliation – gøre gengæld
fungible – ombyttelig
tenable – holdbar

  • Hvilke punkter nævnte Bill Clinton i 1993 som udfordringer for USAs økonomi i tiden efter Berlinmurens fald?
  • Hvilke løsninger foreslog han 1) i USA og 2) i det internationale samfund?

Jeg handler som


Forlaget Columbus

Offentlig institution
(for skolens ansatte)


Forlaget Columbus

(privat, studerende
og virksomhed)