Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, 1997

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Author: William J. Clinton  | Date: February 15, 1997

Statement on the Telecommunications Services Agreement,
February 15, 1997

I am pleased to announce that American-led negotiations in Geneva have resulted today in a landmark agreement that will liberalize world trade in telecommunications services. Telecommunications services trade—including telephone, data, satellite, and cellular services—is already a $600 billion industry. It is expected to grow to more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years. U.S. telecommunications firms are the most competitive in the world. This agreement will open markets in nations that account for over 90 percent of the world’s telecommunications trade and allow U.S. companies to compete on an equal basis. Today’s agreement will bring clear benefits to American workers, businesses, and consumers alike—new jobs, new markets, and lower prices—and will spread the benefits of a technology revolution to citizens around the world.

Just 2 months ago the United States led efforts to complete the Information Technology Agreement, which zeroes out tariffs on a broad range of information technology goods, such as computers, telephone equipment, and semiconductors. Today’s agreement opens markets for the services for which many of those information technology products are used—basic telecommunications. These are critical steps toward realization of the American vision of a global information infrastucture.

I want to thank the Vice President for his important role in launching these negotiations nearly 3 years ago. I also want to congratulate America’s Trade Representative-designate, Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky, for her skilled and determined efforts. This important agreement advances our interestsand opens new opportunities for growth, prosperity, and progress. I also want to thank FCC Chairman Reed Hundt and Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeff Lang who helped bring these negotiations to their successful conclusion.

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Chicago: William J. Clinton, "Statement on the Telecommunications Services Agreement, February 15, 1997," Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, 1997 in United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, February 21, 1997 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1997), 33:2108 198. Original Sources, accessed April 19, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DJVUWX81UHG4IBU.

MLA: Clinton, William J. "Statement on the Telecommunications Services Agreement, February 15, 1997." Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, 1997, in United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, February 21, 1997 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1997), 33:2108, page 198. Original Sources. 19 Apr. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DJVUWX81UHG4IBU.

Harvard: Clinton, WJ, 'Statement on the Telecommunications Services Agreement, February 15, 1997' in Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, 1997. cited in , United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, February 21, 1997 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1997), 33:2108, pp.198. Original Sources, retrieved 19 April 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DJVUWX81UHG4IBU.