Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release November 16, 1999


For my entire career, I have believed very deeply that a strong economy and a clean environment go hand-in-hand. These past seven years, our administration has proven it: our economy is booming, with nearly 20 million new jobs. And our air and water are cleaner and healthier than they have been in decades.

I also believe that a strong economy and a clean environment go hand-in-hand around the world. And America can and should use its trade policy to strengthen environmental protection both at home and abroad.

That's why President Clinton and I have worked to promote high environmental standards around the world -- from our overseas lending and development initiatives, to our work with the World Bank and other international organizations.

Now, as we prepare for a new round of trade talks here in Seattle, we want to go even further.

Today, President Clinton is signing an executive order which will help us do more to protect the environment in future trade negotiations.

The new executive order will require serious environmental reviews of all major trade agreements -- with input from the public and from outside experts. We can then use that information to shape emerging trade agreements -- to better protect our own environment, and the global environment as well.

In addition, we are today outlining our broader strategy for ensuring that in the upcoming WTO talks, we promote high environmental standards as we open markets abroad. Some of our objectives include: ending subsidies that promote over-fishing of our seas, giving the public a stronger voice in trade matters, and eliminating barriers to cutting-edge technologies that promise a cleaner environment and a higher standard of living for millions around the world.

Without a safe, clean, and healthy environment, everything else we leave our children is meaningless. That's why this step is so important. It will help us expand trade and create high-paying jobs while we safeguard this precious earth. I can't think of a better legacy for our children and grandchildren.

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