Remarks as Prepared for Delivery for
Donald L. Evans
U.S. Secretary of Commerce
20th Annual Conference on U.S.-Turkish
March 27, 2001
Thank you. Id like to begin by acknowledging the sponsor of
this conference Boeing Corporation and thank Chris Hansen for that
gracious introduction. Chris, you would have made even my mother
General Scowcroft, Ambassador Ilkin (Turkish Ambassador to the
U.S.), Ambassador Pearson (U.S. Ambassador to Turkey), and todays
its a pleasure to join you this afternoon.
I understand that a number of my predecessors have spoken to this
group, and I appreciate being invited to share some time with all
of you today.
I=d like to tell you a little about what you can expect from this
administration and about how I see my job
but before I get
into that, it might be useful if you knew a little bit about how
I ended up in Washington, which is a long way from my home in Midland,
Midland is where I got my start in the oil business in the mid-1970s.
Its also where I met President Bush when we both set out to
pursue the American Dream.
I spent a lot of time in the oil fields of west Texas working at
everything from being a roughneck on drilling rigs to being an engineer
and finally wound up running a multi-billion dollar
oil and gas company.
Trust and Certainty in Government
thats what brings me to Washington and here today
to give you a look at how this administration plans to conduct business.
And I think youre going to like what I have to say.
I offer that with some assurance because youre businesspeople.
You want to have a marketplace that allows you to compete. You want
rules that you understand and that allow you to succeed just as
far as your talents and determination take you. And thats
what this administration is all about. Thats what Im
To that end, the first thing I can tell you about this new group
in Washington is that you can count on us to do what we say well
do. You can expect "trust" and you can expect "certainty."
Frankly, its my strong belief that the basis for any successful
or effective relationship, partnership or enterprise is grounded
in trust and certainty. Therefore, it follows that if we dont
have a government we can trust and count on
we wont have
a very effective government.
Im proud to be working with a President and a friend of more
than 30 years who I know can be trusted to deliver what he promises
and wont mince words. When President Bush says, "Yes,"
he means, "Yes." And when he says "No," he means
With that said, it should be apparent that this President will
sit down with people and discuss differences and entertain a wide
range of suggestions on policy matters
as will I. This administration
has rejected the "zero sum game" mentality. Thats
the mentality that says for me to win, you have to lose. Its
wrong and counterproductive. On far too many occasions, no one wins.
Public service is just what it says it is "Serving the Public."
It is our duty
our responsibility to listen to others and lead.
Lead with the attitude that says this is not a zero sum game and
that nobody wins unless we all win.
Its this rejection of the "I win, you lose" approach
as well as the trust and certainty I can promise
you from the President that makes me delighted to serve in this
administration and serve the American people.
I believe this President is seen as a leader with integrity, dignity
and is serving the people for the right reasons.
These are steadfast qualities that he
and everyone in his administration
carry throughout his years in office.
Trade Policy and Commerce with Turkey
Of special interest to you, Im sure, was the emphasis the
President placed on the value of trade and business throughout his
campaign. And he has maintained a strong focus on them since assuming
office. He fully understands and appreciates the importance of foreign
having been governor of a border state where he worked
closely with Mexico and business on many issues, including trade.
He knows that trade is a generator of income and a creator of jobs.
Trade, as you well know, is a key part of the long-standing U.S.-Turkish
relationship. Two-way trade last year was nearly $7 billion, the
most active its been in a number of years.
We believe that commerce between our great nations will continue
expanding in the years to come. Despite the problems that have been
making headlines, the Turkish economy has a recent history of growth
and reform. And the current problems I would call "growing
pains" that come from economic reforms, including those that
are opening the economy.
Turkey is now focused on building a strong new national economic
program to deal with the fallout from its recent financial problems.
This program is designed to reduce inflation, to stabilize public
finances and to continue structural reforms. Economy Minister Dervis
announced a week ago that the initiative will cover banking, public
finance, privatization of state-run industries, and monetary policy.
We hope to see the details of the plan soon.
Obviously, the big challenge will be to implement the program in
a way that will buoy investor confidence and encourage trade and
investment. The most effective way to accomplish that will be to
take care of structural problems in the economy in order to generate
opportunities for growth. Turkish leaders have shown great courage
in recent months in implementing reforms and the United States will
follow developments closely. Were confident that with a concerted
effort, our friend and ally will succeed.
Let me say that the Turkish people can count on America to remain
an active trade and investment partner. A key part of my job is
to bring vision, energy and a strong commitment to expanding trade
in the global economy. And I can tell you we have several special
programs designed to promote new trade opportunities in Turkey.
Last year, for example, we worked with Congress to set up the Appalachia-Turkey
Trade Initiative to increase bilateral trade and investment between
Americas Appalachian region and Turkey. And for our exporters
we have the Caspian Finance Center in our embassy in Ankara, which
opened for business in 1999.
Were also very supportive of efforts to develop a network
of new oil and gas pipelines in the Caspian region. Turkey is a
big player in this, and should benefit greatly as these projects
develop. I understand the Baku-Tbilisi Ceyhan project is now in
the commercial phase. This is great news and we look forward to
the construction, completion and success of the pipeline.
Were also happy to see that Kazakhstan is getting involved
in the project, and were working with all the players to make
it happen. The recent gas pipeline deal in the Shah Deniz field
is good news, too.
All this will not only enhance political and commercial cooperation
in the region, but it also will strengthen our energy security here
Bush Administration Trade Policy
Clearly, our aims in the Turkey must fit within the broader outline
of our trade policy agenda
one that leans heavily on the promotion
of open markets. This administration is strongly committed to liberalizing
global trade for three important reasons:
this approach promotes economic growth. Its no coincidence
that the past 18 years of sustained growth in the U.S. economy have
coincided with a strong push to break down barriers to trade around
the world. Our exports accounted for one-quarter of all economic
growth during the past decade and jobs in the export sector continue
to pay 15 percent more than the prevailing average wage.
free trade promotes freedom. As President Bush has said:
"Economic freedom creates habits of liberty. And habits of
liberty create expectations of democracy." The history of the
past century shows that freedom will flourish as nations grow wealthier,
and their people see improvements in education, health care, and
access to information and knowledge. And there is no clearer example
of this than Turkey.
And finally, open markets and liberalized trade promote communication,
understanding and opportunity, all of which contribute to the security
Setting Trade Policy in Motion
This administration now has a trade policy framework in which to
operate, and the next step is to put it into effect. The first thing
we must do is secure presidential trade promotion authority from
Congress, which will allow the representatives of the President
to negotiate and move forward with opening markets and increasing
opportunities. Each of the past five U.S. Presidents has had this
authority to negotiate far-reaching trade agreements. President
Bush needs it, and we have gone to Congress to get it.
And the sooner Congress acts the better, because our negotiators
have a lot on their plates. We must launch a new round of global
trade negotiations in the WTO, of which Turkey is a member; work
closely with the European Union to fulfill the promise of a stronger
Trans-Atlantic marketplace; and seek market openings and trade expansion
in the Asia Pacific and elsewhere around the world.
Trade Opportunities and Change
considering the changes brought by freer, more open trade
regimes, we have to understand that even with all the benefits promised
and many delivered that change brings with it a fear of uncertainty.
Im sure that whether we are talking about people in this country
or in Turkey, we see the same reaction. Its very human.
Here at home, President Bush has offered a comprehensive program
to address the concerns of Americans in these changing times. What
it amounts to is getting the economic fundamentals right and improving
our educational system so that every American can compete. His proposed
education reforms will better prepare our children for the economy
of the future; tax reforms will allow Americas workers to
keep more of what they earn in an expanding economy; and Medicare
and Social Security reforms will provide a secure retirement for
those who have already made their contributions to our economic
I look forward to swift action on the Presidents program.
We are already seeing that on the tax package
and all in the
administration stand ready to work with Congress to get the job
done as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
Let me close on this. These are very exciting times. Developments
in information technology and transportation are changing the way
we do business and, in some cases, changing business altogether.
The distances and wariness that often kept peoples and nations apart
are slowly but definitely disappearing and hands are extending across
borders and oceans
These are also very challenging times. And in challenging times
I believe it is best to create the environment that allows the genius
and ambition of the entrepreneur and worker to flourish. That is
where the economy is grown, and the jobs are created. I believe
we are seeing this approach in Turkey, and the Bush administration
will actively pursue that path.
Thank you for allowing me to spend this time with you this afternoon.